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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The WA Liberal Party should encourage the Federal Government to take stringent action against parents who refuse to immunise their children, the AMA (WA) said today.
“The AMA (WA) strongly supports the WA Liberal Party’s push to persuade the Federal Government to remove tax benefits from parents who refuse to take this simple step in protecting our community,” AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said.
“As a society we must do all we can to ensure that immunisation rates are as high as possible. Public information campaigns are useful but a financial incentive through the tax system would be a very effective way of getting rates high and keeping them there,” Dr Choong said.
There has been a recent drop in child immunisation rates in WA over the last year – a statistic that has alarmed local General Practitioners.
“The sad truth is that unless people are immunised, and we forget the importance of herd immunity, then lives will be unnecessarily lost,” Dr Choong said.
“There has been an alarming drop off in vaccination rates in WA, to the point where an epidemic is a real possibility.
“We must do all we can to ensure that public confidence in vaccination, especially for children, remains high.
“As a parent of a school-aged child myself, I am very aware that parents lead very busy lives.
“The WA Liberal Party is to be congratulated for putting this motion up for debate and I look forward to it being passed.
“I would then hope that the Prime Minister and the Federal Health Minister take the recommendation seriously.
“There are an estimated three million deaths a year globally due to preventable diseases, therefore we need to ensure that misinformation provided by anti-vaccination lobbyists is ignored, and that people act responsibly,” Dr Choong said.