Melbourne doctors advise anti-vaxxers they can dodge 'no jab, no pay'

A video has emerged of a Melbourne anti-vaccination forum showing a doctor telling peers and families that it is possible to avoid immunisation and gain an exemption to the "no jab, no pay" rule.

The intention of the "no jab, no pay" legislation is to exclude people from government child-care subsidies if they do not vaccinate their children.

The Herald Sun is reporting that at least three doctors are being investigated by Victoria’s Health Department and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for allegedly helping families avoid immunisation.

The anti-vaccination forum held in Hawthorn on August 3 screened the controversial film Vaxxed and discussed the progress being made in the campaign for the right not to immunise children.

In a video from the meeting Dr John Piesse, a GP at the Natural Healing Centre in Mitcham, and a colleague can be heard telling the group they've helped up to 600 families opposed to vaccinations get exemptions against the compulsory immunisations.

“I want you to know that for 'no vax, no pay' it is definitely possible to get the exemption,” Dr Piesse said at the meeting.

“So there is hope.”

The Natural Healing Centre in Mitcham. Source: Google Maps
The Natural Healing Centre in Mitcham. Source: Google Maps

Dr Piesse’s colleague, naturopathic physician Nerida James, also spoke in the video.

"We can support you and we have been supporting about 600 families, thanks to Dr John Piesse,” she said.

Dr Piesse, spoke out against the 'no jab, no pay' regulations and encouraged doctors who have their own scepticism about vaccinations to contact the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network and find out about these same loopholes for families.

Guests give their views at a screening of a controversial health documentary.
Guests give their views at a screening of a controversial health documentary.

Victoria’s Acting Health Minister Martin Foley said AHPRA had taken too long to open an investigation into allegations against doctors who may be helping anti-vaxxers.

"After twelve months an investigation into Dr Piesse's practice has not yet been concluded by AHPRA. It's not good enough," he said.

"By failing to vaccinate their children, parents are putting their kids and others in our community at risk of terrible diseases or dea

A spokesperson for AHPRA said they could not confirm the reported investigations.

"The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA have a core focus on protecting patients and the public. The Board expects registered doctors to practise the profession safely and ethically," the spokesperson said.

"The confidentiality protections under the National Law prevent us from commenting on individuals."

"All registered medical practitioners are held to account against the professional standards set by the board."

Anyone with concerns about a registered health practitioner should contact AHPRA on 1300 419 495.