‘ME is no yuppie flu and people with the condition must receive help’, Editor’s comment, Gloucestershire Echo, 17 March 2012

From the Gloucestershire Echo, 17 March 2012

In the week of the Cheltenham Festival, the first major steeple-chasing event in the calendar, something else caught the eye of the Editor of the ‘Gloucestershire Echo’.

THERE have been a fair few pints consumed in Cheltenham this week but what would the cost of one buy you when it comes to health care?

Well, an ME sufferer receives this amount of cash for the year to help with their condition.

ME, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a debilitating condition which was dubbed yuppie flu in the 1980s and 1990s. An independent report in 2002 stated that it was serious condition that needed to be taken seriously by the medical profession with urgent improvements in treatment.

Yet a decade later and in Gloucestershire those diagnosed currently receive just £3 on specialist care – less than a good glass of wine in most establishments.

This is a drop in the ocean, particularly when you look at how much other health trusts spend on providing care for those in need.

There is no getting away from it, that the condition does not have easy symptoms to diagnose and there are no obvious signs of illness on the outside.

But Ally Reeve speaks eloquently about just what it means to live with ME. “It feels like the ‘plug has been pulled.You have got no energy and concentration is very hard,” she said.

It would make everyday tasks, such as trying to hold down work, spend time with a loved one or go to the gym, difficult. These are activities we all take for granted and the condition’s impact should not be underestimated. Behind each one of these £3 is someone in need and let’s hope more cash can be found to help.

Read the story that prompted the Editor’s comment HERE.

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