Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

AVSN: NSW HCCC launch new investigation

In October 2009, both the AVSN and Meryl Dorey were investigated by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). It resulted in the NSW HCCC issuing a public warning that the AVSN website contained incorrect and misleading information.
The AVSN appealed to the NSW Supreme Court and in February 2012 the court ruled that the HCCC did not have the juridisction to issue the public warning. Please refer to AVSN - NSW HCCC Investigation.

This prompted the NSW government to propose an amendment to existing health legislation, which was passed in May 2013. Please refer AVSN - Health Legislation Amendment.

On 29 May 2013, the Minister for Health, Mrs Jillian Skinner, announced during question time that the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission will be launching a new investigation into the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network. Excerpts from Hansard follow:

Dr ANDREW McDONALD: My question is directed to the Minister for Health. Last night the Australian Vaccination Network posted on its Facebook page a link encouraging its members to join the Church of Conscious Living to avoid the vaccination legislation. What steps will the Minister take to close this loophole that allows anti-vaccination campaigners to claim an exemption and refuse vaccinations?

Mrs JILLIAN SKINNER: I am pleased to have the opportunity to answer this question. Interestingly, the shadow Minister for Health did not raise this matter during my briefing with him this morning, although we talked about doctors giving advice contrary to the good health of children and their families. I indicated to him at that briefing that provisions under the Health Care Complaints Commission could take care of that. I am advised that the Health Care Complaints Commission has been monitoring the so-called Australian Vaccination Network website. Thanks to my very good friend and excellent Minister for Fair Trading, the good Robbo, the Health Care Complaints Commission can now monitor such websites. The commission can take action when it believes a body, such as the Australian Vaccination Network, is acting counter to people's good health. I am advised that the commission is monitoring the Australian Vaccination Network website and I expect a report on its activity in the near future.

Later...
Mrs JILLIAN SKINNER: During question time I was asked a question in relation to the Australian Vaccination Network. I am advised that the Health Care Complaints Commission will launch an investigation into the Australian Vaccination Network.

The Hansard may be viewed online at NSW Government website:
Full Day Hansard Transcript (Legislative Assembly, 29 May 2013, Corrected Copy)