Minister supports Lyme’s campaign

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A Donegal TD has put his weight behind a campaign being led by Lyme’s Disease sufferers in the county.

Minister of State Joe McHugh TD has called for a Government review of how Lyme Disease sufferers are treated by the health services.

Minister McHugh met with campaigners from Inishowen at Leinster House on Wednesday.

The Fine Gael Government TD has also written to Health Minister Simon Harris to ask that all medications for Lyme Disease sufferers are covered by the Medical Card and/or covered in the prescription payment scheme.

Among those McHugh met was Carndonagh man Charlie Harkin, and Jenna Cowen from Moville.

Speaking following Wednesdays meeting, Minister McHugh said:

“Like many sufferers, Charlie currently has to pay for immunity boosters and other supplements out of his own pocket.

“I believe this is unfair. I have been in contact with doctors who are experts in the treatment of the illness and they recommend the use of these supplements.

“I have asked Minister Harris and his officials to examine a way of covering the costs of these supplements.

“I want to pay tribute to Charlie and others in Inishowen for their campaign thus far and I want to assure them of my support.”

Minister McHugh said he also supports the campaign to make diagnosis of the illness easier, with many people waiting years before a final diagnosis is given.

“I know the HSE does run annual information campaigns on how to avoid getting Lyme Disease but I believe we need to go further, not just in prevention measures but in the treatment of those like Charlie who have been diagnosed with the illness,” added Minister McHugh.