Rebate cutoffs for parents who fail to immunise their kids

Feb 22, 2015 at 10:28 p.m. ET

A recent report release by the Productivity Commission has suggested that all parents who refuse to have their children immunised should be removed from the government's child care rebate scheme.

The immunisation of children has become one of those heated topics that can make or break friendships, cause heated discussions around the dinner table and spark debate and polarise people.

Well, here's another issue to be hotly debated around the issue of child immunisation. Following the recommendations by the Productivity Commission into health care, there could be cuts to government child care rebates for parents who don't immunise their children.

The report recommends the government cut the rebates in order to protect children from preventable diseases within child care facilities.

Child care centres in New South Wales can already refuse children who have not been vaccinated and other states are following suit, with the social services minister, Scott Morrison, not ruling any future changes out, as recommended by the commission.

"The commission makes some very important suggestions in this area. I am open to everything in the report," he said, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

But here's what parents, on both sides of the debate, have said about the issue.

"Children who are not vaccinated, except for medical reasons, should not be allowed to attend child care centres, playgroups, kindergartens or schools," says Trude. "It is not just that child who is at risk, but babies who are too young for vaccination, children who cannot be vaccinated for real medical reasons and people with low immunity, such as cancer patients."

"How dare the 'Productivity Commission' demand we put drugs into children when there is no test to check if your child is immune compromised before vaccination," says Veritas. "Outrageous. And who will foot the bill if your child is the rare one who gets permanently damaged by a vaccine?"

"I think all those against vaccinating their children should be made to watch videos of children hospitalized and suffering from the severe effects of some of these horrible diseases, and especially those under 6 weeks that are too young for the first immunisations," says Julie.

What do you think? Should health care rebates be cut to parents who don't immunise their children? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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