Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (352)

Eamon Scanlon


352. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the supports in place for persons suffering from fibromyalgia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16190/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome associated with wide-spread pain and fatigue. It is labelled a syndrome as fibromyalgia is a collection of signs, symptoms and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause. 

There are supports available for the sufferers of this condition. Even though there are no plans at present to add fibromyalgia to the list of conditions currently listed under the Long Term illness scheme (LTI), any patient with a condition, not listed under LTI, is eligible to apply to the Drugs Payment Scheme or to apply for a Medical Card.

Under the Drug Payment Scheme, no individual or family pays more than €124 a month towards the cost of approved prescribed medicines. The scheme significantly reduces the cost burden for families and individuals with ongoing expenditure on medicines.

People who cannot, without undue hardship, arrange for the provision of medical services for themselves and their dependants may be entitled to a medical card. In the assessment process, the HSE can take into account medical costs incurred by an individual or a family.  

People who are not eligible for a medical card may still be able to avail of a GP visit card, which covers the cost of GP consultations.

General medical services are provided by GPs. If the patients clinical condition warrants a referral to a Consultant then their GP will organise that for them.