The Gottfries clinic is the leading ME/CFS and fibromyalgia clinic in Sweden. It both treats patients and conducts biomedical research, yet the health authorities there are planning to withdraw their support in favor for a “bio-psycho-social” approach to treatment.
Politicians in Gothenburg, Sweden have now decided not to renew the contract with the clinic when it expires on 30 November 2016. Instead, it plans to announce a new procurement for the treatment of so-called MUS (medical unexplained symptoms). Their view is that ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are not separate diagnoses but belongs to a group of illnesses called functional somatic syndromes, i.e., psychosomatic disorders. The premise is that these should be treated only with various forms of psychotherapy. The patients will have no biomedical treatment.
This is a scandalous decision which is based on an ignorance that is surprising. The decision was made by a committee that completely ignored the last ten years of research. There is now good evidence that both the ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are chronic, somatic diseases that have a devastating effect on patients ‘ lives. To refuse to treat these patients medically is that to stop giving Alzheimer patients also other treatment than CBT, or to remove all MS patients ‘ medications and just give them antidepressants. It is not compatible with Sweden’s laws and regulations providing for good health on equal terms.