The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) launched their 2013 Atlas of MS which provides an overview of Multiple Sclerosis across the world.
Ireland again fared poorly in the provision of medical personal and equipment but had positive results around entitlements and discrimination.
Key data from the atlas:
Of the 106 countries providing data on prevalence, only 12 other countries have a prevalence rate higher than Ireland.
Of the 102 countries providing information on the number of neurologists, Ireland is placed at number 64, beside Thailand, Columbia and Bolivia. Iran and Tunisia have twice as many neurologists as Ireland.
Of the 32 European countries providing information on the number of neurologists, Ireland is last place. Lithuania is number one, Spain is at 11 and the UK is at 31.
Of the 30 European countries providing information on the number of MRI scanners, Ireland sits at number 17.
Ireland is one of 72 out of 102 countries to have a website, one of 79 to have a helpline and one of 82 to have a patient organisation
Ireland is one of 53 countries out of 104 that provides disability payments, and one of only 26 that provides compensation to carers
Ireland is one of 73 out of 102 countries to have anti-discrimination or equality laws for people with disabilities.
Emma Rogan, person with MS and MS Ireland’s Policy and Information Officer says the figures are disappointing but encourages people to seek help and keep positive.
“As a young person living with this life-long condition, I’ve personal experience of what it means for Ireland to be the worst in Europe when it comes to neurological care/neurologist numbers. An investment in neurological care will ease the challenges of chronic conditions such as MS and would positively change people’s lives.
I’m making sure that I am part of the solution through my work raising awareness of the issues, providing information and lobbying for change. I will live the rest of my life with MS and would like to focus on making the most of life. Better neurological services would positively affect quality of life and reduce the need for acute services. I hope these statistics will awaken policy makers and the Government to the reality of life with MS in Ireland.”