Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Thank you, Mr President. I was just about to make a point of order to draw your attention to the fact that we are now more than halfway through question time and we have had only one crossbench question. That being said, I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, representing the Minister for Health, questions about the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Professor David Forbes of Melbourne University and Professor Sandy McFarlane of Adelaide University have described that up to one-third of post-traumatic stress disorder patients are not responding to current therapies. Their findings were published in the Medical Journal of Australia and reported in The Advertiser on 13 April 2015.

In these years of Great War commemoration, we remember the sufferers of ‘shellshock’ who were professionally stigmatised as morally inferior. Returned soldiers from Vietnam struggle with PTSD to this day, and there appears to be strong community support for the provision of ongoing treatment for veterans of subsequent conflicts. My questions to the minister are:

1.What plans are in place for the implementation of new clinical guidelines following insights gained through breakthroughs in neuroscience?

2.What impact will the planned closure of the Repatriation General Hospital at Daw Park potentially have on PTSD treatment in South Australia?

3.Will the South Australian government consider establishing a centre of excellence at the Repat, focusing on research into best practice in the treatment of PTSD?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change): I thank the honourable member for her excellent questions on the treatments for PTSD. I will undertake to take that question to the minister in another place and bring a response back on her behalf.