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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Senate inquiry into Lyme disease has unearthed nothing new and has only resulted in a waste of time and resources, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said today.
The Committee’s Interim Report, tabled in the Senate yesterday, recommends that the Federal Government fund an advertising campaign warning Australians about the dangers and prevention of tick bites. It also recommends that the Inquiry continue after the coming election.
As expected, the Interim Report also repeatedly recommends that more research is needed.
“Yesterday’s report does nothing beyond what we predicted when this inquiry was first announced, recommending that more research was needed into Lyme-like illnesses,” Dr Gannon said.
“We have always agreed that more research is needed into what the patients are really suffering from. An expensive Senate Inquiry to reach this conclusion was entirely unnecessary.”
“The recommendation that there be a taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to “…develop education and awareness strategies” for the prevention of tick bites would be an even greater waste of money.
“The proud history of important Senate Inquiries will only be weakened if weak inquiries like this one are allowed to continue.
“It is sad to see well-meaning and appropriately motivated Senators and the Australian Senate as a whole being reduced this.
“There have been tears and emotion and the medical profession has been attacked by a range of individuals and support groups, but there has been no light shed on this issue.
“Patients with Lyme-like illnesses deserve our sympathy, and they deserve appropriate investigation and treatment. What they don’t need is an implausible diagnosis in the majority of cases, and months of expensive antibiotic treatment for an infection that they have tested negative for. All patients deserve respect and appropriate investigation for the source of their symptoms.
“I would urge the Senate to put this Inquiry to bed when the Senate reconvenes after the election.
“There are better things to spend taxpayer funds on, including high quality scientific research. Let’s agree now that this is what should be done and work together to win additional funding for this important research,” Dr Gannon said.