I have worked as a paediatrician for almost 40 years. I have seen and cared for many children. I worked at the Children’s Hospital in Sydney during the last great measles epidemic in Australia during the 1970s. I have seen children with measles, mumps, whooping cough, tetanus and polio. I have seen many children suffer for bacterial meningitis, epiglottis and meningococcal disease. I have seen children die and some be severely damaged by these illnesses which can be prevented by immunisation.
Most of the policies of Pauline Hanson are anathema to me, but I do understand that we live in a pluralist democracy and we can sensibly argue about our political differences.
However, when Senator Hanson strays into comments about major health policy, and uses unscientific, dangerous, and bizarre language – I take offence.
I have written to Ms. Hanson previously about her attitudes toward and comments about immunisation. I have not received a reply.
I will write to her again and request a meeting so that I can provide her with accurate information about immunisation and immunisation policy. Australia has led the world with our immunisation policies and research, led by such notable Australians as Professor Ian Frazer and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty.
It is vital that we as politicians present accurate information to all Australians, so that we continue to provide our children with the best health care possible.
I will meet Ms. Hanson anywhere, anytime, and argue the case for our children and grandchildren using science and reason, and I hope to change her views.