On bad management of vaccine rollout in Australia:
The health sector is split between state, federal, and private operators. They fight over funding.
The federal government is responsible for funding Doctors, the states are responsible for demanding federal government money to run hospitals.
The state and private sector run hospitals. The federal health department doesn’t run anything, has no direct experience with medicine, and is one of the least functional federal departments anyway.
In a perfect world, some group with experience of large public-health actions would have run the vaccine rollout. There is no such group. Vaccinations are normally done by local city councils, and to a lesser extent by individual private doctors directly funded by the federal government.
Ok, given that vacuum, the existing policy setting is for the federal government to resist paying individual doctors for any new initiative, and for the states to resist using hospitals for anything they can get the federal government to pay for.
So there was no-one with experience running a large rapid response program: to the contrary, their experience was with avoiding responsibility and getting someone else to pay for it.
I don’t want to suggest that funding was the driving force here, as it almost always is: just that systems which are set up to avoid paying for medical services had no idea how to go in the opposite direction, and that the organisations on which responsibility naturally fell had no idea what they were doing.
What this has meant is that sectors which should have seen concentrated government action – aged care, hospitals, quarantine workers etc – have seen ad-hoc incompetence instead. This hasn’t been backed up by wide community roll-out, catching those who should have directly caught, because there hasn’t been wide community roll-out.
The lack of wide community rollout reflects the fact that Australia has bugger-all COVID, and closed borders, but it leaves clear the failure of directed rollout, where that should have been government responsibility at both levels.