Oral Response to Oral Question tabled by Annette Brooke MP, House of Commons, February 25, 2014

Post #298 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-3Nm

Update on February 27, 2014:

To clarify: the replies by WHO Twitter admin of February 12 are still displaying but some viewers may need to adjust the page setting to “All” in order for replies to be visible, as the @WHO Twitter page now defaults to “No Replies” mode.

I stand by my view that responses to members of the public, via Twitter, which may be visible to some but not to others, is not an adequate substitute for the issuing of a formal statement clarifying the reason for the 12 month long absence of these three ICD-10 entities from the Beta drafting platform and ICD Revision’s intentions for their classification, or for restoring these terms to the Beta platform for public scrutiny.

Update on February 26, 2014:

WHO on Twitter appears to have deleted the three tweets to a member of the public. For the record, here is a screenshot from a forum post, dated February 12:


Update on February 25, 2014:

In her Oral Answer to the Oral Question tabled by Annette Brook MP [House of Commons, February 25, 2014] Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, refers to a WHO public statement.

To the best of my knowledge, WHO has issued no recent public statement around its proposals for the classification of ME and CFS within ICD-11, other than what was stated in an unsigned tweet by an unnamed WHO admin to a member of the public, via WHO’s Twitter account, on February 12.

I have asked Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, for the source of the WHO public statement that informed the response given to Annette Brooke MP.

Since I am not a constituent, and Ms Ellison is not obliged to respond to my enquiry, I have also asked the Department of Health for clarification through a formal process for requesting information in relation to government departments and Ministers [Case ref: DE00000844965]. I will update when I have received their response (due within 18 working days of submission).

The tweet by WHO of February 12 does not state, “…there is no proposal to reclassify ME/CFS in ICD-11.”

It states only that there is no proposal to include ME/CFS as Mental and behavioural disorders in ICD-11.

It does not confirm an intention to retain PVFS, ME and CFS within Chapter 07; it does not deny any proposal for coding under dual parent classes within the same chapter or coding to dual parent classes under more than one chapter; nor does it provide any explanation for the year long absence of these three ICD-10 terms from the ICD-11 Beta draft.

It does not set out proposals for hierarchies, that is, which term(s) are proposed to be assigned ICD Title codes and given Definitions and other “Content Model” descriptors, and which are proposed to appear listed only as Inclusion terms or under Synonyms to ICD Title codes. It does not clarify the proposed content of Long or Short “Content Model” Definitions.

As a public statement of clarification it is neither adequate nor acceptable. I continue my quest for the issuing of a full clarification of current proposals for the G93.3 entities and for the restoration of these terms to the Beta draft.

Oral Response to Oral Question from Annette Brooke MP, House of Commons, February 25, 2014



Answer to Oral Question



Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (LD):

What reports he has received on the possible reclassification of ME/CFS by the World Health Organisation.[902634]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jane Ellison):

The World Health Organisation is currently developing the 11th version of the international classification of diseases, which it aims to publish in 2017. No discussions have taken place between the Department and the WHO on the reclassification of ME/CFS, but the WHO has publicly stated that there is no proposal to reclassify ME/CFS in ICD-11.

Annette Brooke:

I thank the Minister for her answer. Many people will be greatly relieved about that. As chair of the all-party group on myalgic encephalomyelitis, I receive many representations about GPs in this country still not necessarily recognising the condition. Will she look into that, and will she work with her counterparts in the DWP on the benefits side as well?

Jane Ellison:

I am aware that this is a very difficult, complex and emotive area. I have heard before the point that the hon. Lady makes about GPs. I am very happy to take up her points and discuss them with her.

Update on February 25, 2014:

In reply to the posting of a link on February 10, on Action for M.E.’s Facebook page, for Dx Revision Watch post: Update on classification of the ICD-10 G93.3 categories within the ICD-11 Beta draft published on February 8, 2014, Action for M.E. responded:

“Our view is that M.E./CFS is a physical neurological illness and we will challenge any attempt to wrongly classify it as a psychiatric or mental disorder. We have already discussed this issue with other charities with a view to collaborating in opposing any such move by the WHO. Our CEO has also raised the issue with the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on M.E. with a view to encouraging political opposition to such a move.”


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