Straight forward discrimination in Austria

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Leitwolf22, May 22, 2008.

  1. Leitwolf22

    Leitwolf22 New Member

    I (and a few more other people) am fighting a desperate struggle with Austrian health authorities on the acceptance and treatment of CFS. They claim that either CFS does not exist at all, or that it is merely a psychiatric disorder.

    Unlike in the US where doctors are more or less individual, independent specialists, the Austrian health system is ruled by a medieval chamber of medical doctors. This organization virtually dictates the rules of the game. There are no courts and no other authorities that you could turn to. And you will not find a single doctor that either knows CFS or would even dare to stand up against that chamber, as they could strip him of his right to practice.

    So is there any authority in this world that is willing to make stand to the Austrian policy of discrimination?

    I would like post a statement of the president of the Austrian chamber (Ärztekammer) that I received:
    „CFS is well known to Austrian physicians, as it has been in continuous discussion for years.
    Regrettably the nature of this disease has not been defined beyond a working hypothesis.
    In the attachment we have added a link to the educational homepage of the AKH Wien (general hospital of Vienna).
    As you can see there, it is still a mainly undefined illness, which definitely and in most cases requires psychiatric treatment.
    The right procedure when CFS is suspected, is to rule out (repeatedly) any organic causes, and if that is the true (as in most cases), a psycho-therapy or psychiatric respectively is required.
    There is continuous education on this topic and we will bring an article “state of the art” in the next edition of the Austrian physicians magazine (Ärztezeitung)..”

    Link: http://akh-consilium.atldaten/neurosen htm

    I guess it would be extremely helpful to get some comments or help from outside…

  2. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    Can you use US research sites to show the current and past research?

    check out Cort Johnson's website

    Learn and browse through the research and conference links.

    There is so much information that it would be hard to dispute it.

    The World Health Org. has defined ICD-10 which include ME/CFS. THis is a better definition than ICD-9 as it include post exertional malaise.

    Also, become familiar with the Canadian Consensus Document (use search here on this board). As it is the latest and greatest CFS definition.

    Even the old outdated CDC Fukuda definition is better the psychiatric bent.

    Best of luck,
  3. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle New Member

    I do sympathise, here in the UK we are beleaguered by the powerful psychiatric lobby insisting that we have a 'hysteria' disorder'.Here's the WHO definition of myalgic encephalomyelitis, it has been classified as a neurological illness since 1969:

    ME/CFS is an acquired organic, pathophysiological, multi-systemic illness that occurs in both sporadic and epidemic forms. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ICD 10 G93.3), which includes CFS, is classified as a neurological disease in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Chronic fatigue must not be confused with ME/CFS because the "fatigue" of ME/CFS represents pathophysiological exhaustion and is only one of many symptoms. Compelling research evidence of physiological and biochemical abnormalities identifies ME/CFS as a distinct, biological clinical disorder."

    I don't know if Austria had signed to abide by the WHO definitions. My country has & it makes no difference, they even sneakily moved the definition into the psychiatric disorders pages in the UK WHO book, although the WHO told them that their neurological classification remains unchanged.

  4. Leitwolf22

    Leitwolf22 New Member

    Could it be possible to ask some well known specialists to comment on this Austrian position? I mean that would not take a lot of time, but it could make a difference for thousands of people, as a few like me try to make their case against our health system.
    Any suggestions which doctors would be open about that?

    @bluebottle where exactly can you find this definition?
  5. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle New Member

    I suggest you contact Dr John Greensmith from ME Free for all for advice, he's a leading UK campaigner against the psychiatrist's stranglehold on M.E. here.

    Sorry, I can't remember where I found the WHO definition. You will find lots of useful medical information on the 'Hummingbirds guide to M.E. website':
  6. SpiroSpero

    SpiroSpero New Member

    Hi Leitwolf, you described it perfectly and it's the same here in Germany.

    "Unlike in the US where doctors are more or less individual, independent specialists, the Austrian health system is ruled by a medieval chamber of medical doctors. This organization virtually dictates the rules of the game. There are no courts and no other authorities that you could turn to."

    A paper that really gave me some hope was a summary for the upcoming HHV-6/HHV-7 conference on June 22/23.

    You can find it here:

    If you need a good doctor visit Prof De Meirleir in Brussels (do a search on the board) as he is attending the conference too and is maybe the best CFS physician in Europe.

    Why did this paper give me so much hope? Well not only because of the well known elite scientists from Harvard and Stanford and Japan who show there results there but also because of the first time that scientists from Germany attend the conference. The HHV-6 Foundation is one of the greatest foundations I know. I truly thank them for everything:

    Borna virus and CFS
    Liv Bode, PhD, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany
    Dr. Bode, PhD, permanent scientist at the Robert Koch Institute
    and lecturer in virology and infectious diseases at the Free
    University of Berlin, has authored or co-authored over 45
    papers on Borna virus (BDV) infection in both animals and
    in human psychiatric disease including chronic fatigue. She
    contributed to high-ranking priority publications on BDV target
    cells in blood, isolation of human virus, and antiviral therapy
    (amantadine), the latter shown to be effective both in vitro
    against human and equine isolates, and in vivo in depressed
    patients in open trials. Borna virus does not circulate in the
    blood. Therefore, she and her associates developed sensitive
    methods to detect the virus activity through circulating immune
    complexes, antigenemia and free antibodies. Since the
    diagnosis of Borna virus in humans is controversial, the findings
    in human disease have been a matter of scientific and even
    political debate, recently leading to Dr. Bode’s Whistleblower
    award from the Association of German Scientists (VDW)l.
    Studies in Japan and more recently, in China have demonstrated
    higher levels of antibodies in patients with CFS than in controls,
    supporting the suggestion by Bode and her associates that
    Borna virus plays a role in human neurological disease.

    Dirk Lassner, PhD, of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
    A pathologist, Lassner will describe his group’s fascinating
    finding that in over 1600 endomyocardial biopsies, the most
    common virus found was parvovirus B-19, followed by HHV-6.
    All of these cardiomyopathy patients have persistent fatigue. He
    raises the question: could a subset of CFS patients in fact have
    subclinical viral myocarditis?
  7. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I sympathize, as I have European relatives who are constantly telling me it's "all in my head"!

    The following German website has a link to the Canadian Consensus Document on ME/CFS, translated into German:

    The Consensus Document was composed by an *international* panel of physician and researchers. As it has been translated into German, I think it might be useful to you. The bibliography alone is priceless.

    Perhaps you can send a copy to the Austrian authorities, as well as individual doctors.

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