Local charity Hope 4 ME & Fibro Northern Ireland has said it offered to pay for the Health Minister Simon Hamilton MLA to attend the Invest in ME conference taking place next month in London.
This was part of the charity’s ongoing campaign to achieve specialist NHS services for ME and Fibromyalgia sufferers in Northern Ireland.
The group said the offer was declined by the Minister and passed to the Health and Social Care Board who responded to say that no officials were available to attend.
The charity approached local Ulster Unionist Assembly Candidate Jo-Anne Dobson, who tabled a formal written question to the Minister.
“I have supported this charity in their extensive lobbying for improved services for people suffering from chronic illnesses,” said Mrs Dobson.
“I commend the charity for all the steps which they are taking to highlight this issue and seek the support of the Minister and Department of Health – although I must express my disappointment that a patient group is treated in this way when what they are seeking to do is provide the opportunity for our health officials to benefit from global research.
“My support and commitment for those suffering from chronic illness and those groups and charities who help them remains firm. If re-elected I will lobby the new Health Minister for improved services.”