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Funding to boost immunisation outcomes.

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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Health and Ageing

Tony Abbott MHR

16 August 2006 ABB119/06

Funding to boost immunisation outcomes

Immunisation services will be strengthened with the Commonwealth Government increasing funding to state-based organisations through the General Practice Immunisation Incentives (GPII) Scheme.

State-based organisations play an important coordination and collaboration role in Australia’s system of Divisions of General Practice. These organisations will have their funding increased by $625,000 per year to provide for immunisation coordinators to target areas of lower immunisation coverage.

Australia’s childhood immunisation rates were at a low of 53 per cent in the early 1990s. The rate is now more than 90 per cent.

In 1996, Commonwealth Government spending on vaccines was $13 million. Vaccine expenditure under the National Immunisation Program in 2004-05, was $285 million - a 22-fold increase.

The Government introduced the GPII Scheme in 1998 to significantly increase childhood immunisation levels.

The scheme aims to encourage 90 per cent of GP practices throughout Australia to fully immunise 90 per cent of children under seven years of age attending their practice.

General practitioners have always played an important role in meeting Australia’s immunisation goals and the GPII Scheme has proven to be an effective tool in helping to boost childhood immunisation levels.

Media contact: Claire Kimball, 0413 486 926