Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Health Minister to urgently develop a Lyme disease strategy.

He raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil earlier this week, following a protest by Lyme disease sufferers.  Leo Varadkar referred to the disease as “controversial diagnosis”.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “The government and the HSE need to wake up to the prevalence of this disease in this country, as well as the impact it has on sufferers.  I believe the Taoiseach’s remarks were unhelpful, but unfortunately are representative of the lack of awareness of this debilitating condition.

“The current service for Lyme disease sufferers is extremely limited.  Many people have had to travel to Germany to have their diagnosis confirmed, thereby delaying their treatment.

“I welcome the establishment of a cross-party Oireachtas group to progress this issue.  It is working to develop a strategy for Ireland, focussing on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.  The group has already had a number of meetings with the Department of Health and the HSE and will be meeting with both the Taoiseach and Minister for Health shortly.

“We also need to push the government and HSE to instigate a proper awareness and treatment programme.  The current situation for Lyme’s sufferers is completely unacceptable. I will continue to work along with the local Lyme group to ensure that this issue is progressed so that the needs of those who suffer from this debilitating illness are properly catered for.”