HC Deb 06 December 1993 vol 234 cc84-5W
Mr. McMaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland ( 1 ) what plans he has to commission an epidemiological survey into the incidence of myalgic encephalomyelitis; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if myalgic encephalomyelitis is recognised by his Department as a disease; how it is categorised; what special funding he has made available for its treatment; how much his Department is spending on research; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what advice he has issued to health boards on myalgic encephalomyelitis; what further advice he intends to issue; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart

[holding answer 1 December 19931]: Myalgic encephalomyelitis—ME — is widely recognised as a post-viral or chronic fatigue condition, although it is not at present included by the World Health Organisation in the international classification of diseases.

The Department has not issued any guidance to health boards on ME and no special funding has been made available for treatment. There is, as yet, no consensus on the form that treatment should take. The uncertainties associated with the diagnosis of ME would make it difficult to mount an epidemiological survey and the Department has no present plans to mount such a study.

The chief scientist office of the Scottish Office Home and Health Department is not currently funding any research related to ME, but is always prepared to receive and evaluate individual proposals for such research.

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