On 5 August 2021, the Department of Health released the Debilitating Symptom Complexes Attributed to Ticks (DSCATT) Report.
In October 2019, Painaustralia contributed to a submission to the report titled DSCATT Clinical Pathway report. Painaustralia endorsed the approach which recommended that Lyme disease only be considered in patients presenting with a history of travel to Lyme disease endemic areas (Europe, North America, Asia), exposure to tick bites and with relevant clinical symptoms specific to Lyme disease.
The Australian Government is currently working with key stakeholders to investigate an evidence-based and flexible multidisciplinary care model that can be applied in both private and public healthcare settings. It is hoped that this model will provide patients with comprehensive assessment of their symptoms and ensure that a potential diagnosis is not overlooked.
Some patients presenting with classical Lyme disease or debilitating symptom complexes report negative experiences in the Australian health care system, and this has been largely due to the controversy and stigma attached to Lyme disease in Australia.
To ensure that both the general public and health professionals have current evidence-based information and are able to distinguish between classical Lyme disease and DSCATT, the Australian Government has said it will undertake to raise the awareness of both these illnesses. It is hoped that this information will help patients and health professionals better understand tick borne illnesses, keep an open mind to the cause of debilitating symptom complexes and result in a positive and consistent approach to diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management.
The full report can be accessed through the Department of Health website here.