Monday, April 13, 2015

Australia introduces 'no jab, no pay' policy. Those families who don't immunise will lose welfare benefits





In a world first, Australia introduces 'no jab, no pay' policy. Those families who don't immunise will lose welfare benefits



Australian parents will lose thousands of dollars of childcare and welfare benefits if they refuse to vaccinate their kids.
The 'no jab, no pay' plan, announced by the federal government on Sunday, has bipartisan support.
Thousands of families could lose payments, with the government estimating about 39,000 children under seven have not received immunisation because their parents are vaccine objectors.
But Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said it's not fair for taxpayers to subsidise parents who choose not to immunise.
'The overwhelming advice of those in the health profession is it's the smart thing and the right thing to do to immunise your children,' Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
The government says the number of parents opting for the 'conscientious objection' vaccination exemption for payments has more than doubled over the past decade.
The 'no jab, no pay' policy will remove it as an exemption from January 2016.
The Australian Medical Association, representing 27,000 doctors, backs the plan.
'Vaccination remains one of the most effective public health measures that we have,' AMA President Brian Owler told AAP.
'Whatever we can do to increase vaccination rates is important.'
Dr Owler does have some reservations. He's concerned the policy won't catch parents who don't need the benefits and could lead to children being excluded.