Following the national government’s adoption of JMEA’s petition for public assistance for ME last fall, we will be receiving reports from the Cabinet on our petition items approximately twice annually.
We received the first such report from the Cabinet with the subject line “Petition Concerning Assistance for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis,” with the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare designated as the main responsible ministry. The report contained updates on our two petition items (for the establishing of diagnostic criteria and for inclusion in the Act on General Support for Persons with Disabilities) as follows:
(1) A research team commissioned by the Japan Medical Research and Development Agency is conducting research on discovering the cause of the disease and developing diagnostic criteria and treatments.
(2) The existence of objective diagnostic criteria for a disease is a prerequisite for the disease to be eligible to receive support such as disability welfare services under the Act on General Support for Persons with Disabilities. We are about to initiate a review of eligible diseases, building on our ongoing review of diseases designated as Intractable Diseases under the Intractable Diseases law. In the event diagnostic criteria containing objective markers for ME/CFS is established, we would like to consider the inclusion of ME/CFS as a disease eligible to receive disability welfare services under the Act, including from the perspective of the actual need for public assistance.