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Labor moves for Senate inquiry into support for thalidomide survivor



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THE HON. CATHERINE KING

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE

MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

MURRAY WATT

LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

LABOR MOVES FOR SENATE INQUIRY INTO SUPPORT FOR THALIDOMIDE

SURVIVORS

Labor will ask the Senate to establish an inquiry into the ongoing pain and suffering

endured by Australian survivors of the thalidomide tragedy.

Thalidomide was a drug used in the early 1960s to treat morning sickness that

caused birth defects in thousands of children worldwide - including dozens in

Australia who were left with life-long disabilities.

Thalidomide survivors are fiercely and proudly independent despite the damage

done by this drug.

However many survivors say they have been under-compensated by the drug

makers and need more support as they age and their needs become more

complex.

Some say they feel as if their pleas for help have gone unheard in recent years.

This Senate inquiry will give them a chance to tell their stories and outline their

needs.

A number of governments around the world - including Canada, Germany, Japan

and the UK - have established statutory support schemes for their thalidomide

survivors but Australia has not done so.

The inquiry will examine whether there is anything more the Commonwealth can

do to make sure thalidomide survivors can live with security and dignity in the

decades ahead.

MONDAY, 20 AUGUST 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: ADAM GARTRELL (KING) - 0427 008 525

LAURA MANTON (WATT) - 0408 698 537

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.