The Associated New Zealand Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Society (ANZMES) is calling for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) to be reclassified as a disability.
ANZMES says that despite the symptoms of ME/CFS meeting many of the definitions for disability, the illness is not categorised as a disability in New Zealand for the purpose of health-related funding and support. Reclassification of ME/CFS to disability would result in:
- legitimisation and validation of a person living with ME/CFS as a disabled person, and a protection of their rights as a disabled person,
- easier access to governmental financial support and ministry services,
- increased access to social services,
- access to need assessments as a recognised disabled person,
- access to home-help support and services, including mobility aids, and grants for home modifications for wheelchair use,
- access to free immunisations on a voluntary basis,
- increased level of care and support through social services and educational institutions.