Former Melbourne GP cops six-year ban over dodgy child vaccination exemptions

The tribunal found that, from January through to August 2017, Mr Piesse – who fought at the tribunal to keep referring to himself as a “non-registered doctor” – created and signed 149 false immunization exemption certificates for unvaccinated children.

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The tribunal, which handed down its decision in the matter this week, heard families would come from far and wide in Victoria, and even interstate, to get the fake certificates.

Along with handing out the dodgy exemptions, Mr Piesse also completed 177 false Medicare vaccination forms so parents and carers of unvaccinated children could claim benefits from the government to which they were not entitled.

The tribunal heard that Mr Piesse attended a screening of the anti-vaccination film Vaxxed in August 2017 at the Hawthorn Arts Center, where he told an audience medical practitioners could easily support vaccination exemptions, and he was happy to do them up for parents.

He also spouted views that childhood vaccinations were unsafe. The tribunal heard the medical exemptions he handed out said children were exempt from getting a jab “until vaccines [were] proven safe by controlled clinical studies ”.

The board also alleged Mr Piesse did not cooperate with inquiries into his conduct, and “misused his status as a medical practitioner”.

The former GP, who has not practiced since his registration was suspended by the board in 2017, accepted liability for all the allegations against him.

Tribunal members Jonathan Smithers, Robyn Mason, and Laurie Warfe noted his acceptance was “grudging, and heavily influenced by personal health considerations”.

They decided to disqualify Mr Piesse from applying for registration for six years – until January 24, 2028 – and banned him from using the title “doctor” until he was, if ever, registered again.

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