Northern Ireland

NI arthritis sufferers 'need funds to match rest of UK'

Arthritic hands Image copyright SPL
Image caption More funding is needed to help people with arthritis in Northern Ireland, a local charity has said

People with rheumatoid arthritis in Northern Ireland need more funding and support to be in line with the rest of the UK, a charity has said.

Arthritis Care NI said that, at one stage, NI people had to wait three years for certain drugs, compared to three weeks in England.

This has improved, but there is still a way to go, the group said.

The charity has published research that suggests many sufferers do not talk about their daily struggles.

Steve McBride, Arthritis Care's policy adviser for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: "We need to make sure the funding is provided to enable people to get the benefits of these very powerful and effective modern drugs.

"We also need to get people to understand the full complexity of the condition and to support things like the self management training we do, which helps people deal with the day-to-day management of arthritis."

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