By David Tuller, DrPH
So Iâ€™ve been in Australia for a week. In Melbourne on Friday, I was happy to spend a couple of hours with Emerge Australia, the local ME/CFS advocacy group. We had video glitches so there is not a continuous tape of the discussion, but here’s a link to at least the first part:
On Sunday, I participated in a panel discussion after a well-attended screening of Unrest. In the past, when Iâ€™ve asked at screenings who in the audience was a patient or care-giver, almost everyone raised their hands. In this case, when I asked who had come out of interest rather than because they were either sick themselves or taking care of someone else, about a third of those in attendance seemed to raise their hands. It was great to see that people not so directly impacted were interested in getting educated.
The others on the panel were (left to right): Neil McGregor, a leading researcher from the University of Melbourne, which is engaged in major biomedical research into the disease; Fane Mensah, a PhD student in immunology at University College London, who is collaborating with the University of Melbourne team; Chris Armstrong, a research colleague of Dr. McGregorâ€™s at Melbourne; and Anna Kerr, a patient advocate.
Hereâ€™s a link to the panel discussion:
Melbourne’s a really cool city, by the way, with lots of great food and a major coffee fetish. I loved spending time there and was sorry to have to leave.
Tuesday evening I flew to Canberra, the Australian capital, for meetings with various people in and around the government. The first order of business Wednesday morning, however, was a radio interview for the morning show of the local affiliate of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. [March 22: The previous sentence originally referred mistakenly to the Australian Broadcasting Company.] Hereâ€™s a link; the interview starts at 1:14 and lasts for about 15 minutes:
I was planning to write more today about the excellent report on ME/CFS from a panel commissioned by the Dutch Health Councilâ€”another major setback for the GET/CFS ideological brigades. I wrote about the draft of this report a few weeks ago, and the final report delivers the same message. But itâ€™s late, Iâ€™m tired, and have more stuff going on tomorrow. So further exploration of the report will have to wait.
Except I need to mention this fantastic phrase because it was such a pleasure to read: “The Committee sees no reason to recommend the application of GET in the Netherlands.”