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Submissions from medics sought for thalidomide inquiry

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The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is seeking further evidence in its examination of support provided to Australia’s thalidomide survivors and has decided to extend its reporting date to February 13, 2019 to facilitate this.

The Committee has already held a public hearing in Melbourne on November 2, 2018 and has received more than 50 written submissions.

“At the Committee’s hearing in Melbourne we were able to hear first-hand the lived experience of thalidomide survivors and their families,” said Committee Chairwoman Senator Rachel Siewert.

“This gave us an insight into the impact thalidomide injuries have on survivors’ lives and the health and financial challenges they continue to face.

“The Committee recognises that thalidomide survivors’ circumstances are highly individualised and survivors are best placed to inform the committee regarding their future health and support requirements.”

At the same time, the Committee would like to hear from others in the community who have experience or knowledge that will assist the committee to understand the needs of thalidomide survivors and the financial and practical support they require.

“We would welcome submissions from medical practitioners, disability advocates, academics and other professionals who might be able to assist us,” Senator Siewert said.

While the initial date for lodging submissions has passed, the Committee will still accept submissions to the Inquiry. Submissions can be emailed to community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

The Committee plans to have a second public hearing in Sydney on January 31, 2019.

To participate in this hearing, contact the Committee’s secretariat by email or telephone. Arrangements for the hearing will be posted on the Inquiry webpage:

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/ThalidomideSurvivors

The webpage has a range of information about the inquiry, including its terms of reference, public submissions and the transcript of the committee’s Melbourne hearing.

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