Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 02 October, 2003

Written Answers. - ME Trust.

  223. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children his views on the Irish ME Trust (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21614/03]

  Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Officials of my Department, including the chief medical officer, have met with representatives of the Irish ME Trust, both this year and last year. The Department's chief medical officer has pointed out the limitations on the health care system's ability to provide a full range of services to those who are already diagnosed with CFS/ME. These limitations are the same as for those who suffer from other chronic diseases. The allocation of resources needs to be based on priority health needs and on evidence as to what interventions [1419] are seen to be most effective in combating these conditions.

  There are limitations on the capacity of the health care system to respond to demands for increased or additional services. It is, therefore, difficult in the current circumstances to identify funding to establish specialised units for CFS/ME sufferers.

  I would like to assure the Deputy that my Department will continue to keep the issue of providing services to CFS/ME sufferers under review, taking account, in particular, of the experience of initiatives in other countries.