Plaid Cymru call for specialist long-Covid clinics as people ‘forced to go private’
Plaid Cymru have called for specialist clinics to treat long Covid, saying that some people suffering the after-effects of infection are currently being forced to go private.
The results of a review of Wales’ long-Covid programme announced by the Welsh Government yesterday found that community and primary care services were effective in treating people with symptoms.
But Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on health and care, has renewed his party’s calls for specialist long Covid clinics saying that there were thousands of sufferers in Wales and “little certainty in the medical outcomes they can expect”.
“Feedback from the long-Covid cross-party group which I co-chair says that Welsh Government must rethink its approach and set up the specialist teams that patients and medical experts internationally are calling for,” he said.
“We didn’t expect GPs to work in isolation when Covid-19 first arrived, so why does government think this is appropriate now?
“This piecemeal approach to a serious condition is forcing some patients to go private, which is awful when you consider that long-Covidis more prevalent in people living in more deprived areas. Treatment for long Covid should not be a preserve of the rich.”
The Welsh Government set up a £5m Adferiad (Recovery) programme in June of last year to diagnose, rehabilitate and support those suffering from long-Covid in Wales.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said that they were committed to ensuring every person suffering from long-Covid received support and care tailored to their particular needs and symptoms and as close to home as possible.
“It’s great to see the results of this review, which show people are receiving the right care they need for them and positive health outcomes are being maximised,” she said.
“We know it affects everyone differently. By following the primary care model we have ensured people are treated by the most appropriate specialists for their symptoms. Not everyone suffering from long-Covid will need to see a specialist and this model will stop people waiting a long time for treatment.
“We are still learning about long-Covid and this review will help us improve services further. We will continue to monitor the support required and adapt accordingly as we learn more to ensure services are available to all those who need support.”
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