Aug 12, 2010

Gillard’s plans for compulsory child health checks slammed

In the age of (supposed) evidence-based policy making, this new proposal to mandate Healthy Kids’ Checks for a segment of the population seems to be a classic case of throwing good money after bad, writes Menzies Foundation Fellow Dr Lesley Russell.

As part of Labor’s election policy, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced new rules requiring parents of four-year-olds to take the children for health checks before they can receive the $726.35 family tax benefit part A.

But there’s a problem — Healthy Kids’ Checks are not working.  Only a fraction of four-year-olds get this health check, and there is no evidence that those children who do get one benefit from it.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “Gillard’s plans for compulsory child health checks slammed

  1. Delerious

    I’m confused about what you think is the value of these checks? I don’t need to be paid $726.35 to make sure my child is well. She is immunised when specified and whenever we are concerned about anything we see a doctor. So you’re right this compulsory child health check is irrelevant to me.

    So who would want to or need to do it. People who want $726.35. People who don’t believe in vaccination but still like to make sure their child is checked (ie it is a good prompt) if they don’t usually see a doctor on a regular basis. People who are concerned about some aspect of their child’s help but don’t want to be seen as a worry-monger (ie my child doesn’t seem to hear too well or see too well but maybe I’m just being thingy).

    I suppose if you are going to pull out stats like this I would probably also like to see some sort of feedback from the people who actually used it. There could also be a small problem in that I have never heard of this Healthy Kids Check.

  2. Kerry Lovering

    If toddlers eyesight and hearing are checked before they get to school that will be of great benefit to everyone especially the pre schooler. Why would anyone complain?

  3. mark

    I thought the whole point of the announcement was to get the number of checks up. Your opening premise

    “But there’s a problem — Healthy Kids’ Checks are not working. Only a fraction of four-year-olds get this health check”

    actually supports rather than repudiates the measure. Please try to make sense.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details