Research shows ME/CFS can mean Poverty and Lifelong Lockdown
A national survey has found two-thirds of Australians with the debilitating condition Myalgic Encephalomyeltis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) are living below the poverty line.
The survey report was released today by ME/CFS support and advocacy body, Emerge Australia.
CEO of Emerge Australia, Dr Heidi Nicholl, said the research showed that for many people the onset of ME/CFS marked the beginning of a life lived in financial insecurity and poverty.
“89 per cent of respondents stopped or significantly reduced their paid working hours. Less than half the participants (49 per cent) were engaged in some form of work, education or training at the time of taking the survey.
“Unsurprisingly, cost was a significant barrier to accessing necessary healthcare. Provision of telehealth and home visits via Medicare is therefore particularly important,” Dr Nicholl said.
The survey also showed that lack of General Practitioner knowledge about ME/CFS was identified as the greatest barrier to accessing appropriate services.