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ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


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Response from the Lib’s Dr Andrew Southcott MP

Friday 2 November 2007

Dr Andrew Southcott MPPolly Chaser Lynda Brett wrote some time ago to Dr Andrew Southcott MP (pictured), the Federal member for her electorate of Boothby.

In time an ‘answer’ came back. We say ‘answer’ because it’s a form letter (with minor variations) which anyone who writes in about ME/CFS has been getting for some years.

Lynda is writing back. [Update 5/11/07: Lynda wrote back – click here for her letter]

In time we’ll get real, fresh answers out of the Feds.

This is the letter Lynda received from Dr Andrew Southcott MP:


24 September 2007

Mrs Lynda Brett
[address removed]

Dear Mrs Brett

I write in reference to my letter in which I stated I had made a representation on your behalf to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Tony Abbott regarding Government's support for sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

My letter was referred to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator the Hon Brett Mason for his attention. Please find enclosed a copy of the response from the Minister.

I hope this information is helpful. If I can be of further assistance to you or your family please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Dr Andrew Southcott MP
Federal Member for Boothby



And this is the letter from Senator the Hon. Brett Mason written to Dr Andrew Southcott MP that was enclosed with the above letter that Lynda received:


14 September 2007

Senator the Hon Brett Mason
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing

Dr Andrew Southcott MP
Member for Boothby
760 Marion Road

Dear Andrew

Thank you for your representation of 10 August 2007 to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, on behalf of Mrs Lynda Brett of [address removed] regarding Australian Government assistance for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, I am responding on his behalf.

Management of chronic disease is a major focus of the Australian Government and the State and Territory Governments. As an indicator of this. Commonwealth and State and Territory Health Ministers endorsed an integrated National Chronic Disease Strategy in November 2005. This Strategy aims to improve the overall integration and continuity of care for people with chronic conditions by emphasising the importance of primary health care, health promotion and early intervention.

The Australian Government has introduced a number of chronic care initiatives, including chronic disease management items available under Medicare. Since 1 July 2005, Medicare rebates have been available to patients who have a chronic condition, such as ME/CFS, for the preparation of a GP Management Plan. Patients who also have complex care needs are eligible for team-based care using the Team Care Arrangements Medicare items. This service enables a patient's GP to identify and coordinate the health and care services that the patient requires.

For many people with a chronic condition, such as ME/CFS, it is often worthwhile contacting the consumer representative group to find out the support available regionally. In South Australiam ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc provides information about treatments and provides support for people with ME/CFS and their families. Information about the Society is available on its web site at

The Government has invested in research for ME/CFS through the National Health and Medical Rsearch Council (NHMRC). The NHMRC is the Government's main health and medical research funding body, providing research support through a variety of mechanisms, including support for individual research projects and broad programs of research.

During the period 2005-06, the Government, through NHMRC, provided more than $1.5 million for research into ME/CSF. During 2006-7, Dr Janet Taylor at the University of New South Wales received further NHMRC funding for her research into fatigue in humans.

I trust that this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

Brett Mason



Here are scans of the letters:

Click on an image to enlarge:

Letter scan
Letter scan
Letter scan
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