Marian Harkin MEP: Laois Parkinsons Patients Deserve Greater State Support

Patients with Parkinsons, and their carers in Co. Laois, deserve far greater support from the State than is currently provided.

This was stated by Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she opened the East Midlands Parkinsons Patient Conference in Newbridge, Co. Kildare,.

“Unpaid carers in Co. Laois make an annual contribution of over €41 million each year to the State through the value of their unpaid work which constitutes more than double the cost of carers allowance while, at EU level, the contribution of carers is over €2.5 billion per annum”, she stressed. The 12,000 Irish Parkinsons patients are matched by an equivalent number of carers and while caring was once the province of women solely, the nature of Parkinsons, and other health challenges facing people, meant that men were increasingly involved in caring, she said.

“Parkinsons disease deserves a much greater focus from the Irish government and the EU as the number of patients is currently at over one million in the EU and will double by 2030 as population ages. This support needs to include the provision of significantly more neurologists and specialist Parkinsons nurses”, she said.

For that reason alone it was vital to have a greater political focus on Parkinsons and, in collaboration with the European Parkinsons Disease Association, she would be pushing for the establishment of a specific Parkinsons Interest Group in the European Parliament, Marian Harkin MEP.


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