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Two very different approaches to handling pig flu

I’m surprised by the difference in attitude to the pig flu situation between Victorian health authorities and New South Wales health authorities.

For most of the week I have been inundated with press releases about just about every single diagnosis of pig flu in Victoria. The Victorian authorities seem to believe that keeping people informed is a good idea.

Then we have New South Wales. I’m trying to follow up on a tipoff we have received about a diagnosis of pig flu in Berrigan. Greater Southern Area Health’s media rep responded with “oh we don’t talk about individual cases. We have a website with overall numbers which we update daily”.

I have just checked back through all of the emails and faxes which have come in this week, and I can not find a single message from New South Wales health authorities. Apparently keeping people in the dark and fobbing the media off to a website is the way things are handled in New South Wales.

I much prefer the Victorian approach. Whilst it creates more of an uproar and media circus, at least people are informed about what is going on. The New South Wales way just causes confusion.