Parliamentary Questions | classification of ME/CFS by the World Health Organisation | 25 February 2014

Fears that the World Health Organisation may reclassify ME/CFS as a psychiatric or mental disorder were touched on in the House of Commons today in Health Questions.

The chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on ME, Annette Brooke MP, asked the Health Secretary what reports he had received on the possible reclassification off the illness by the WHO?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Jane Ellison MP, replied:

The World Health Organisation is currently developing the 11th version of the international classification of diseases, which it aims to publish in 2017. No discussions have taken place between the Department and the WHO on the reclassification of ME/CFS, but the WHO has publicly stated that there is no proposal to reclassify ME/CFS in ICD-11.

Annette Brooke:

I thank the Minister for her answer. Many people will be greatly relieved about that. As chair of the all-party group on myalgic encephalomyelitis, I receive many representations about GPs in this country still not necessarily recognising the condition. Will she look into that, and will she work with her counterparts in the DWP on the benefits side as well?

Jane Ellison:

I am aware that this is a very difficult, complex and emotive area. I have heard before the point that the hon. Lady makes about GPs. I am very happy to take up her points and discuss them with her.

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