“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest things.”
This is according to Publilius Syrus, a Latin writer born in 85BC.
He has a fascinating story. Born in Syria he was brought as a slave to Italy, but was eventually freed due to his talents.
Syrus’ verse is fitting for what has transpired in Tasmania this month.
The news of five cases of meningococcal, which included the devastating death of a 16-year-old girl, put an emphasis on our health.
Questions were asked about access to meningococcal vaccines as well as affordability.
There shouldn’t be a price on health – but there is.
It’s often said, when travelling, that you don’t want to get sick in America. You can’t afford to.
Thankfully, in Australia we have a good health care system, particularly in comparison to other first-world countries.
Just because our health care is better than others, it doesn’t make our system perfect or unable to improve.
This is where the common sense enters the recent conversation in Tasmania.
The state government will roll out a vaccine as part of an extended program.
It’s believed to be the largest program of this type in Tasmanian history.
The Examiner readers fell in love with Arthur Long when we featured his story back in September 2017.
The young boy was a survivor of meningococal.
But it hasn’t been an easy battle.
The disease took his feet, two fingers and killed his spleen.
It was the same strain – meningococcal W – that is currently being experienced in southern Tasmania.
His parents told The Examiner that news of the cases in Hobart, including the death of the teenager, was a trigger moment.
Now that the vaccine will be available to all children aged six weeks up to 20 years, the family hope no one will have to experience what they have in recent years.