An Australian Hospital Is Investigating How Anti-Vaxxer Information Got Into A Document For Expectant Mothers

Gold Coast Hospital believes in vaccination, but handed out information by an organisation that believes the opposite. Photo by John Moore/Getty

Gold Coast University Hospital is investigating how a leaflet handed out to pregnant mums contained links to an anti-vaccination group, in contradiction to health policy, after the mistake was revealed on Twitter.

Lucy Fisher, who is pregnant with her second child, told the Gold Coast Bulletin, was given a leaflet by midwives that listed the Australian Vaccination-Sceptics Network (AVN) as the only source of information on vaccines.

AVN has repeatedly fallen foul of NSW authorities, including Fair Trading, for its anti-vaccination stance and was forced to change its name to better reflect its views, as well as losing its charitable status.

Hospital officials do not yet know how many women were given the leaflet, but Business Insider understands it was not part of the normal pregnancy information handed to women and had not been properly reviewed by authorities.

Gold Coast Health director Women’s and Babies Health, Associate Professor Anne Sneddon, said the document had been withdrawn and they are investigating how it was overlooked to ensure it does not happen again.

“Gold Coast Health unreservedly apologises for the inclusion of this website if it appeared in any way to support non vaccination of newborns and children,” she told Business Insider.

“Gold Coast Health supports the immunisation program in every aspect and this is reflected in the other clinical guidelines and policy documents used within the service.”

It’s the second major oversight by the hospital this week, after it emerged on Monday that over the past 11 months, 48,000 “low-risk” x-rays at both GCU and Robina hospitals were not properly reviewed by specialist radiologists, as part of a three-step process, putting patients at risk. Two patients have been identified as being affected as a result and 22,000 x-rays have been prioritised for review.

Queensland health minister Lawrence Springborg has commissioned an independent investigation into the issue.

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