MS Ireland joined The Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) for their Lobby Day in Leinster House to present a grim picture of neurological services to gathered TDs and Senators. Person with MS, Emma Rogan spoke of her personal experience of living with a neurological condition. She was joined by Professor Orla Hardiman, Consultant Neurologist and Chris Macey, Chair of NAI.
The aim of the day was to educate our elected representatives on the dire state of neurological services and ask them to finally prioritise people with neurological conditions in the health service. Chief actions required were the reduction of waiting lists to see neurologists, the implementation of the neurorehabilitation plan and the cessation of cuts to neurological non-profits. Organisations like MS Ireland often provide the only community based services for people with neurological conditions.
Speaking at the event person with MS Emma Rogan told how important her services are,
“The bottom fell out of my world when the doctor and nurses gathered around my bed, pulled over the curtain and told me I had MS. Dazed and confused, I was on autopilot for a while. I then made contact with a local MS volunteer at home in Mullingar and they put me in touch with Mary who works with MS Ireland. She has listened, advised, encouraged, cautioned and been a tower of strength for me over the years. More government cuts take the Marys of this world away from those in most need.”
Some of the shocking facts of our neurological services include:
- 38% of patients, more than 5,580 people are waiting more than a year to see a neurologist in a public hospital outpatient’s clinic,
- Over 1000 patients are waiting more than 4 years for a hospital outpatient’s appointment,
- Ireland has 7 rehabilitation consultants; if we had 50 we’d still have the second lowest per capita rate in Europe. If we had 150 consultants we’d have fewer per capita than Serbia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Croatia,
- Just one is six people of the 15,000 per annum with serious conditions requiring specialist neurorehabilitation services can access these.
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What have been your experiences of neurological services?
Image captions: Emma Rogan, person with MS, lobbies with others living with and working with people with neurological conditions. '1 in 5000' symbolised the one in 5000 people who get to see a neurologists within one year.