[Update from earlier post thanks to insightful comment]
The government has decided that it is not worthwhile to vaccinate all 12 year old girls against cervical cancer (click here). Tony Abbott has decided that that is enough for him and he wont be paying for his daughters to be vaccinated. The reason given was some uncertainty over the effectiveness of the vaccine and whether a booster would be needed. However, other countries are hopping in so the Australian decision is strange.
I have blogged on this before (click here) but the way to think about the cost is not in terms of how much we are spending per life saved ($126K on the latest figures) but instead how much each of us would spend to know that our daughters would be protected from this type of cancer. That turns out to be $1.73 per year. [FYI: I take the $625m in the news report for the costs of this over the first four years and divide it by 18 (for the 4 cohorts of 12 year olds and single cohorts of 13-26 year olds) and divide through by 20m.]
So what Tony Abbott is saying is he would not be willing to pay $1.73 per year for this treatment. And he thinks the current news report makes him look like “a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard”!