Ireland has a third-world standard of care for people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, chairperson of the Mayo branch of the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland (PAI) Marian Newman has stated.
Urging local patients and family members to attend the most significant gathering of Parkinson’s patients in Ireland—a one-day National Patients’ Conference on June 17, at the National Conference Centre, that will kick off the Movement Disorder Society’s 16th international Congress in Dublin – Ms Newman said that Ireland is poorly prepared for the inevitable rise in incidence of Parkinson’s disease over the coming decades.
“Only one in four people here are able to access the national rehabilitation centre and we have just six rehab consultants when the recommended number for our population is 26. Internationally we compare very poorly,” commented Marian. “Incidence levels of Parkinson’s are expected to double by 2050 and unless we start taking this seriously in Ireland we will reach crisis levels long before that.”
Pat O’Rourke, chairman of the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland said that approximately over 1,200 of Ireland’s 8,000 Parkinson’s patients are in need of a surgery that could change their lives but yet have to travel to the UK, France and elsewhere for it. He said: “Only a small number of the people who can actually have this treatment, and who would benefit enormously from it, are even aware of it. So far the HSE is paying for this surgery abroad when it would be much cheaper to perform it at home and we could then treat so many more.”