Norway has established an ME(Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) Centre.

If only I spoke the language!
DEC 2008

The centre was opened on Thursday 11th December - two years after the Norwegian Knowledge Centre stated in a report that the health services for ME patients were insufficient due to the low knowledge level of staff in Norway.

The main objective is to provide patients with a proper examination so that they receive the correct diagnosis. Many patients go for years without a definite diagnosis and many have given up getting any help. That was the view of Dr Barbara Baumgarten - the project leader for this centre.

Dr Baumgarten stated that ME consists of many complex symptoms and that it is important that the patient is treated by specialists who are most relevant in relation to their condition. Dr Baumgarten believes that one needs to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing ME.

A multidisciplinary team at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo is going to guide these patients and follow up on the health of these patients. The centre has also staff who will visit the most severely ill ME patients at home.

International studies show that up to 25% of all ME patients do not leave their homes to see a doctor. There are different degrees of severity for the illness which affects between 8-15000 people in Norway.

In Norway there are 50-100 bedbound ME patients. General Practitioners can refer patients to be examined either at the clinic or by an ambulant team from the Ullevål University Hospital which will go to the patient’s home.

Fully evaluated patients are then referred to relevant specialists or management courses. The staff at the ME centre consists of specialists in infectious diseases, general practitioner, occupational therapist, social worker, nutritionist and a project consultant.

Dr Baumgarten's team uses the Canadian Guidelines to clinically diagnose ME patients.

The centre also advises general practitioners and care and social workers in the area where the patient lives so that they can take over the follow up of patients.

Information taken from Verdens Gang (