Written Answers. - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research.

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

177 Mr. Martin asked the Minister for Health if he intends to commission a major research project in Ireland into ME/CFS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16164/96]

Limerick East): The Health Research Board is the main mechanism through which public funding for health research in Ireland is channelled. Although the board is not currently engaged in funding a research project in the field of myalgic encephalomyelitis, the board considers all applications for funding and allocates funding to projects on a competitive basis subject to the board's peer review process whereby experts in the field assess the merits of each individual project. Any person or body seeking funds to enable research to be undertaken in the field of myalgic encephalomyelitis should submit a proposal to the board.

However, myalgic encephalomyelitis is the subject of widespread international research in a range of medical and scientific disciplines with a view particularly to elucidating its cause which is at present unknown. The Department of Health, and indeed the medical profession in general in this country, monitor this research with a view to incorporating any new proven findings in their diagnosis and management of this difficult condition.