Major ME and fibromyalgia conference set for September International speakers for Belfast event

fibromyalgia conference
Dr. Montoya

A major conference on ME and Fibromyalgia is set for September at a time when recruitment is underway for the first ever consultant lead on the condition nears completion.

Hosted by the charity, Hope  4 Me and Fibro Northern Ireland, the event on September 17 at Parliament Buildings, will hear a keynote address from US specialist Jose G Montoya MD of Stanford University.

Joan McParland, founder of Hope 4 Me and Fibro NI said this was a vital conference at a time when new NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for ME/CFS are under review and previous claims of graded exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy being beneficial for this large patient population, are now firmly discredited.

“Now that we are moving forward in Northern Ireland this conference comes at a critical time to inform all healthcare providers of the most effective ways to manage patients and more importantly, to protect them from further deterioration.

“The service has, by the Health and Social Care Board’s own admission, been fragmented, with delays in diagnosis and gaps in education for medical professionals.”
Dr Montayo’s keynote address is entitled ‘An Unfolding Story of Scientific Discoveries and Future Targeted Treatment’ and will hear his experiences of treating patients and his extensive clinical research to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Under Dr. Montoya’s leadership, the ME/CFS Initiative has had great success in engaging and collaborating with nearly 50 researchers across Stanford University and beyond.

Amongst other speakers are infectious diseases consultant, Dr W.R.C. Weir, producer of the award-winning documentary ‘Voices from the Shadows’ Natalie Boulton.

Louise Skelton of the Patient Client Council will also address the conference on the importance of the patient voice.

A speaker (to be confirmed) from the Public Health Agency will provide an update on current ME services and new care pathway for fibromyalgia patients.

The September 17 event will be opened by Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride and is hosted by MLA, Robbie Butler.

Medical students can attend at no cost and CPD accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians in London, has been applied for.

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