The 2018 National Party Federal Council, held at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra on 18 August, was a coup for Lyme patients and with the assistance of the WA National Party the following motion was put forward as an emergency motion and accepted unanimously by the Delegates. This means that the Motion forms policy for the National Party Federally, who are currently in government with the Liberal Party.
That this Nationals Federal Council request the Australian Government to:
- Recognise that a Lyme-like disease exists in Australia and is placed on the ‘notifiable disease’ register.
- Insist that doctors who are treating Lyme-like disease in Australia are protected from investigation and reprisals, in particular but not limited to, medical boards in Australia.
- Insist that general practice and infectious disease specialist doctors are provided best practice education on Lyme-like diagnosis and treatment.
- Ensure patients are offered affordable testing, treatment, and full access to acute and chronic disease support.
- Commit to research, on par with other infectious diseases, such as Zika, SARS, Ebola etc.
- That this matter be treated with urgency and is initiated prior to the upcoming Federal Election.
The expressions on the faces of Delegates was that of horror when Mia Davies, Leader of the Nationals in Western Australia, moved the motion and outlined the plight of patients with the illness, the lack of recognition, and the targeting of health professionals who are Lyme-literate by medical bodies.
This event is an important milestone in a long-running battle to have the Commonwealth recognise that a Lyme-like disease exists in Australia. When speaking to the Motion, Ms Davies said “people living with Lyme-like disease had lost patience with the Chief Medical Officer who appeared to lack understanding and compassion despite best efforts to progress recognition of appropriate treatments.”
You can read Mia’s Media Release here.
Another person we are indebted to is Tory Castledine, a Research and Media Officer for two regionally based State Members of Parliament (Nationals WA), who seconded the Motion and spoke passionately on behalf of Lyme disease sufferers.
A group of delegates traveled to Canberra from Perth to attend the Conference and were extremely proud to be a part of the acknowledgement.
Tick-borne Disease – Lyme-like Illness Motion
The Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA) was given prior notice of a motion which was being debated in the Western Australian Legislative Council on Thursday 29 March, 2017. Unfortunately, the notice we received was only 24 hours prior to the debate.
It appears that the majority of those Upper House MP’s who spoke on the issue understand how debilitating Lyme and Lyme-like illness can be and for that we are extremely grateful. The LDAA works tirelessly on keeping all politicians (in all states) aware of the issues and this is also confirmed to them by the many constituents who have privately contacted their local members to inform, educate, and for individuals to try and understand the politics of Lyme. We encourage you to contact your local member if you havn’t done so already, or re-engage with them. Every little bit helps!
The following motion was moved:
HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [10.34 am] — without notice: I move — That this house notes the 2016 Senate committee report on the “Growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for many Australian patients” and calls on the government to establish an ongoing mechanism for ensuring that the Western Australian context is represented in the implementation of recommendations made in this report.