MP Ian Swales, February 17, 2011:
Ian Swales MP's fight for better treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) continues as he succeeds in getting the Government to recognise ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as different illnesses.
During Ian's recent parliamentary debate on ME he argued that the Government needs to distinguish between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME to provide better treatment for the different illnesses.
However, Health Minister Paul Burstow MP responded by saying that the World Health Organisation classifies Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME as the same illness.
Following an outcry from the ME community about this statement, Ian challenged the Minister on his definition of CFS/ME. The Minister admitted that the definition he used in the debate was "incorrect".
Commenting, Ian Swales MP said:
"I am pleased that the Government has now recognised that ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are two different illnesses.
"After the debate I received a lot of correspondence from the ME community about the Government's definition of CFS/ME, so after doing some more research on the matter I decided it was right to clarify this point with the Minister. I know they will be reassured by this news.
"I hope that approaching ME as a distinct condition will help lead to better, more effective treatment for sufferers through better analysis of their possible different causes and symptoms."
Important dd 02.03.11: Ian Swales, MP, has misinterpreted the clarification by the Health Minister