WA must do more to support people affected by tick-borne disease

Greens spokesperson for Health Hon Alison Xamon MLC has called on the Government to ensure WA is included into national research into Lyme-like diseases and the state’s interests are properly represented.

Ms Xamon, who put forward a motion in Parliament this week on the issue, said significant numbers of Western Australians had for decades been reporting chronic debilitating symptoms attributed to tick bites.

She said people are currently being turned away without a diagnosis and the support they need.

“They feel stigmatised, bullied and harassed by some health professionals who do not believe that such a syndrome exists in Australia,” Ms Xamon said.

“In some instances, sufferers have died by suicide.”

Ms Xamon said now that the 2016 Senate Committee report on the Growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for may Australian patients had been published, it was vital the Western Australian context is represented as its recommendations are implemented.

She said experts in the field believed the situation in WA was likely to be different from the Eastern states.

“The recommendations made by the Senate Committee represent a good start but we, in WA, must ensure that Western Australians are not at a disadvantage to other Australians through a lack of awareness, participation in research or models or treatment,” Ms Xamon said.

Alison put forward her motion during non-Government business today.