"Evanston's St. Francis Hospital is doing what parents have longed to do for decades -- convince children not to be afraid of doctors. The three-year-old program instills the notion that hospitals can be fun. ------ Instead of cringing from syringes and needles, children are encouraged to spray paint on a canvas from syringes (sans needle)."
Maybe its time that a similar program was started up again. Cursory internet search turns up zilch for programs of this kind today. Here is a link from a Chicago Tribune article from 1999. The story covers a Teddy Bear clinic which was held for one week at St Joseph's Provena Hospital in Joliet. Children were prepared for emergencies and acted out scenarios with the teddy bears.
It certainly is possible that such programs do exist. But likely not very common. This is an everyday problem (at least ten percent of the population). It has helped some soldiers with PTSD to virtually reimmerse them in the associated environment where the trauma occurred. If no program exists to help children with needle phobia playing with a toy doctor kit would probably help.