Lance O'Sullivan blasts health officials over handling of deadly meningococcal outbreak

High-profile Northland doctor Lance O'Sullivan has unleashed on health officials over the handling of the deadly meningococcal outbreak.

He says he's ashamed of being a doctor in a health system that's putting profit above the lives of poor children.

Just days after Alexis Albert turned seven, she was dead from meningococcal W. 

Dr O'Sullivan says she's a prime example of another brown kid dying from an incompetent health system.

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"This is a symptom of being wickedly unprepared. We're not getting ahead of the issues, and so we're dealing with crisis after crisis," he said.

Alexis is one of six meningococcal W deaths in the past year - three of which have been in Northland.

Her mother Rowshae Albert says it hurts to know the Government was aware of the outbreak but was slow to act.

"My baby obviously still would be here," Ms Albert told Newshub. 

On Monday, it was revealed Northland is in a state of medical emergency over a deadly outbreak of a new strain of meningococcal disease.

Health Minister Dr David Clark announced that from December, children and teenagers in Northland would be vaccinated to deal with the outbreak.

"How has this been handled? Probably as poorly as every other same sort of problem we've had which are massive drivers for health in New Zealand, which is, poorly," Dr O'Sullivan said.

"When you have systemic failures that get it wrong all the time for groups of people and you're a part of it, it's not a pride-inducing moment."

On Tuesday, he unleashed his anger on Facebook.

"I get f**ked off to see another brown kid in NZ dying from a f**ked up health system," he said.

"This is notice to entire health system that sees private health companies making millions off the backs of those that they are meant to help.

"I am ashamed to be a doctor in such a f**ked system."

Public health officials are flying in 20,000 meningococcal W vaccinations from overseas, but there won't be enough to go around.

Dr Lance O'Sullivan says it's a knee jerk reaction to a crisis that's been going on for decades, and a radical overhaul of the health system is needed to stop more people from dying.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on The AM Show she'll be asking questions about the fact Northland DHB warned its staff staff to vaccinate their kids six months ago, but didn't properly warn the public about the deadly disease until early this month.

"On the face of that you would think that would be a trigger point at least for them to be talking to the Ministry of Health, absolutely," she says. "But I can't rule out that that didn't happen."

Ms Ardern says that since the outbreak has been declared there's been "very very quick action".

"I can't comment on the timeline from within Northland DHB. What I know is it's only been very very recently that it's been declared by the experts to be at outbreak level," she told host Duncan Garner.