Dobson demands better services

Members of local Charity Hope 4 ME and Fibro Northern Ireland including Sally Burch, Belinda Dale, Martina Marks and Joan McParland with Professor James Coyne and Jo-Anne Dobson at Stormont.
Members of local Charity Hope 4 ME and Fibro Northern Ireland including Sally Burch, Belinda Dale, Martina Marks and Joan McParland with Professor James Coyne and Jo-Anne Dobson at Stormont.

Ulster Unionist MLA and party Health Spokesperson Jo-Anne Dobson MLA has called on the Health Minister Simon Hamilton to improve services for sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia.

Mrs Dobson hosted the group Hope 4 ME & Fibro Northern Ireland and visiting Pennsylvania Professor James Coyne at Stormont.

She said: “I was delighted to host the members of this charity at Stormont to enable them to lobby MLAs to highlight the continued lack of specialist NHS healthcare provision for the NICE estimated figures of over 7,000 patients in Northern Ireland.

“There is a very clear need for more accurate education and specialist training on ME and Fibromyalgia to be made available.

“The everyday lives of so many people are drastically affected by these conditions which leave them feeling exhausted, often leading to long term illness and disability. Diagnosis can be very difficult as symptoms can often appear as other conditions and misdiagnosis for patients is commo.

“That’s why increasing GP training and awareness is crucial.

“Professor Coyne outlined for us the many difficulties which patients face, not least with the Health Service and the impact of conditions on their employment and future health.

“There has been a long fight by patients with these conditions to get the recognition and treatment they need and deserve.

I welcome the fact that the Patient and Client Council support the local charities and groups.