1,000 signatures reached
To: Västra hälso-och sjukvårdsnämnden (Western Health and Medical Care, one of five health boards in the Västra Götaland region)
Save the Gottfries Clinic
This campaign has ended.
We the international community of ME and fibromyalgia patients, clinicians and scientists express our solidarity with the Swedish ME Association (RME) and all Swedish patients with ME and Fibromyalgia. We join them in their demands:
1) that the Swedish government contract with the Gottfries clinic to treat ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia patients with biomedical care be renewed beyond 30 November 2016.
2) that the clinical diagnoses of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia not be sorted into the wastebasket of psychosomatic disorders, but continue to be treated as the serious, physical diseases that they are.
Why is this important?
The Gottfries clinic is the leading ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia clinic in Sweden. It both treats patients and conducts biomedical research.
Politicians in Gothenburg, Sweden have now decided not to renew the contract with the clinic when it expires on 30 November 2016. Instead, it plans to announce a new procurement for the treatment of so-called MUS (medically unexplained symptoms). Their view is that ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are not separate diagnoses but belongs to a group of illnesses called functional somatic syndromes, i.e., psychosomatic disorders. The premise is that these should be treated only with various forms of psychotherapy. The patients will have no biomedical treatment.
This is a scandalous decision which is based on an ignorance that is surprising. The decision was made by a committee that completely ignored the last ten years of research. There is now good evidence that both ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are chronic, somatic diseases that have a devastating effect on patients' lives. To refuse to treat these patients medically is the equivalent of refusing to give Alzheimer patients other treatments than CBT, or to remove all MS patients' medications and just give them antidepressants. It is not compatible with Swedish law which states that everyone should be provided good health on equal terms.