Dianne Ellis and Diane Sommer, Lyme disease sufferers, with Page MP Kevin Hogan.Photo Contributed
Dianne Ellis and Diane Sommer, Lyme disease sufferers, with Page MP Kevin Hogan.Photo Contributed Contributed

Senate inquiries into Lyme and bullying of doctors in Aus

A SENATE inquiry into Lyme-like illness in Australia has been instigated by Victorian independent Senator John Madigan.

"It is the silent killer in Australia that is impacting thousands of Australians and which the government and the medical orthodoxy refuse to recognise," Senator Madigan said.

The motion to establish the inquiry was co-sponsored by the entire Senate cross-bench.

The senate will also investigate bullying and harassment in the medical profession under a motion co-sponsored by Senator Madigan and South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Senator Madigan believes doctors treating Lyme are being targeted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, creating refugees out of thousands of Australians forced to go overseas for treatment.

"I am deeply concerned by the alleged bullying taking place of GP's who are treating Lyme patients by the medical orthodoxy," Senator Madigan said.

"The stories I have heard from doctors are appalling."

Senator Xenophon said too many medical professionals have come forward "raising serious concerns with my office after I spoke out about the issue last September".

Two local women, Dianne Ellis and Diane Sommer, said they were both seriously ill for a number of years due to Lyme disease.

They met with Kevin Hogan this week to share their experiences and those of many people who are struggling in the Northern Rivers area.

"Diane and I are both very pleased with Kevin's compassion and interest in this issue and would like to sincerely thank him for going out of his way to strongly support Lyme disease awareness and recognition in Australia," Ms Ellis said.

"I met Kevin last year when he introduced himself and volunteered his services to be of assistance in any way possible.

"He has since spoken to the Health Minister and is continuing to address this issue and would like to see a lot more research undertaken.

"Testing in Australia is proving to be inaccurate leaving many people with a negative diagnoses while they could in fact be positive for the illness.

"Some people are paying $1500 for independent testing overseas but for many this is not a viable option.

"Even though red tape seems to be holding up the Australian accreditation process, there are very good reports on the testing used by Australian Biologics who offer a number of tests starting from around $200.

"The biggest concern is the number of people who may be affected by this illness but do not realise it.

"Lyme disease, caused by the Borrielia bacteria, can mimic a huge number of diseases and illnesses including Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neuron disease, Mental illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Autism, ADD, ADHD, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, and it has even been linked to heart conditions and stroke.

"Diane and I are involved with support groups and in touch with hundreds of people, many who have an official diagnoses, others who do not.

"We are both very concerned about the number of people becoming unwell, particularly young people who often have a set of symptoms which are the same as people we know who have a confirmed Lyme diagnoses.

"Senator Madigan has brought relief and support to thousands of people across Australia who have been celebrating with the news of the Senate inquiry into Lyme disease and bullying of doctors in Australia.

"Finally there may be some proper diagnoses and treatment of this condition which has been left to run rampant."

The senate inquiry is now open for submissions until March 31.

If your life or that of your family or friends has been affected by Lyme disease, or you suspect it may be, you are invited to make a submission to the inquiry.

For information on submissions, Lyme disease symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment please go to www.lymedisease.org.au