What should people with psoriasis ask election candidates?

It’s election time! This means you’ll get all sorts of direct mail, leaflets and knocks at the door all asking for your vote. So we thought we’d suggest three important questions that everyone with psoriasis should ask their election candidates.

Not a 5 point plan: just three simple questions that you can ask any candidate that seeks your vote!

The government’s role in helping people to manage psoriasis is largely about giving GPs and dermatology departments enough resources to help. There are over 73,000 people with psoriasis in Ireland, 9,000 people have severe psoriasis and over 6,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year.1

Over half of the Irish population experience a skin condition each year, resulting in 6-10 million GP consultations. Dermatology also has the fourth longest waiting list with 29,500 patients waiting to be seen and average waiting time of 12-18 months. Quality of life is significantly impaired by skin diseases such as psoriasis, often to an extent that is as great as some life-threatening conditions.

So here’s what you might like to ask candidates at the door, by e-mail or on social media:

Question 1:

Will you or your party commit to funding better dermatology services near me? This means more resources for GPs, dermatology nurses, consultant dermatologists and access to phototherapy.

Question 2:

Will you seek recognition for psoriasis as a long term illness? The World Health Organisation “as a chronic, non-communicable, painful, disfiguring, and disabling disease for which there is no cure”. The pain, itching and bleeding caused by psoriasis leads to social and work-related stigma and discrimination and our politicians have a responsibility to improve health outcomes for us.

Question 3:

Will you ensure that medical cards are easily and fairly available to people with psoriasis and support measures to cut the huge out-of-pocket cost of moisturisers (emollients) and essential topical treatments?

Download a letter template to send to election candidates here

Remember! If you’re writing to your election candidate using your full name and postal address on a letter or e-mail so they know you’re a local voter!

1 The Burden of Psoriasis: Epidemiology, Quality of Life, Co-morbidities and Treatment Goals (2015).