State Secretary Bussemaker recognizes CFS as a chronic illness Breakthrough for People with ME / CFS Source: ME/CFS Netherlands Foundation (press release) Date: January 18, 2010 url: http://www.me-cvs-stichting.nl/2660 State Secretary Jet Bussemaker of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has accepted the advice of the Taskforce “Linschoten” to acknowledge Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS, also known as ME) as a chronic illness. If the Dutch Parliament accepts her proposal (motion), all CFS patients in the Netherlands will finally be eligible for reimbursements in the framework of the WMO and the Law "Compensation For the Sick and Disabled" (WTCG – Dutch abbreviation). The "ME/CVS Foundation" in the Netherlands has advocated putting ME/CFS on the VWS list (the so-called Borst list) for chronic illnesses for years. Currently, people with ME/CFS are still excluded from aid services for chronically ill patients (disabled assistance). After many years of advocating, the foundation managed to put the issue high on the Dutch political agenda. State Secretary Bussemaker asked an independent Task Force lead by former Secretary Robin Linschoten to examine which disorders should be considered for disabled assistance. The Linschoten task force concluded in its final report that people with ME/CFS are unfairly excluded from the benefits of this law and advised the Secretary to include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients in the law. The State Secretary has informed the president of the Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer) of this advice. The proposal will be discussed in parliament soon. The "ME/CFS Foundation" in the Netherlands is very pleased that the experts and the State Secretary now recognize ME/CFS as a disabling, chronic disease and is confident this recognition will very soon be legally established. Notes to the press release by Diagnose Support: This article states the advice from the State Secretary to categorize ME/CFS as a chronic illness to the members of Parliament. This does not mean the legislation has already changed. The advice to do so is to be discussed in Parliament 'soon' as stated in the press release. Nevertheless, any step towards acknowledging the physical impairments of ME/CFS patients is a huge milestone. The "Linschoten Taskforce" statement that "ME/CFS patients are 'unfairly excluded' from the benefits that come with the classification of ME/CFS as a chronic illness" itself is breaking news. Specifically, this means it will be easier for ME/CFS patients to obtain aids like crutches, wheelchairs, licenses for disabled parking etc. and in some cases extra financial support. At this time it is unclear to us if it also means ME/CFS patients will be more entitled to a disability pension as a regular income. We also would like to raise the question which type of doctors' diagnosis will be accepted for both type of benefits. Last but not least, by taking another step forward, maybe... just maybe ME/CFS will also be more eligible to receive funding for research. Translation by Diagnose Support Translation Team Other info (in Dutch) Website of the WMO (Wet Maatschappelijke Ondersteuning (in Dutch): http://www.minvws.nl/dossiers/wmo/ This law is meant to ensure that people can live in their own homes as long as possible (with care provided at their homes) Website explaining the Wet tegemoetkoming chronisch zieken en gehandicapten (Wtcg) (in Dutch): http://www.minvws.nl/dossiers/wet-tegemoetkoming-chronisch-zieken-en-gehandicapten-wtcg/ Original article in Dutch: http://www.me-cvs-stichting.nl/2660 Credit to: - Thea - Frickly This translation and the comments are posted on : www.diagnosesupport.com .