Ir Med J. 2003 Jul-Aug;96(7):200-3
Hardiman O, Corr B, Frost E, Gibbons P, Mahon L, Traynor BJ.
Neurology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
We conducted a telephone questionnaire to determine the utilisation of hospital and community based services by patients with Motor Neurone Disease and Multiple Sclerosis in Ireland.
94 MND and 188 MS patients participated in the study.
MND patients were more likely to have free medical care than MS patients, despite legislation favouring the converse.
Severely disabled MND patients were more successful at accessing free community-based services than were severely disabled MS patients.
Private medical insurance conferred no advantage when obtaining services or purchasing equipment.
Many patients were unaware of the specific roles of the various clinical professionals.
There are significant deficiencies in patients' ability to access multidisciplinary services.
Voluntary organisations often bridge the gap in service provision.
An investment in services for people with chronic neurological disability is urgently required.