Long COVID Inquiry
CHF has lodged a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport’s Inquiry into long COVID and repeated COVID infections.
Consumers told CHF about their lived experiences and the services that they need to get better. They told us that many primary health practitioners do not know how to diagnose or treat long COVID. At the same time, patients can wait many months for referral, and then many more months for treatment, at long COVID clinics. Often, too, treatments are outdated and can exacerbate, rather than relieve, their symptoms.
The submission argues that an effective response to long COVID requires:
- reducing repeated infections in the community
- earlier treatment and multi-disciplinary care for patients, including mental health needs and other secondary effects, and supports related needs, such as housing, income, family violence
- expanding the reach of specialist clinics and other primary care options that provide consistent, evidence-based treatment
- conducting and supporting Australian based research into the condition, while using Australian and overseas research to educate health providers and update treatment guidelines
- improving government (all tiers) community support for people with long COVID and their carers
- increasing awareness of the condition, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, and other disadvantaged communities, so that people who need it can get advice and treatment.