$50 million boost for long COVID research as parliamentary inquiry hands down report – ABC News

$50 million boost for long COVID research as parliamentary inquiry hands down report - ABC News

An extra $50 million in government funding has been pledged towards research into long COVID.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the funding would better inform policy decisions and improve health outcomes for patients.

The announcement came as a months-long parliamentary inquiry into long COVID and repeat COVID infections handed down its final report and made nine recommendations.

Among the recommendations were for Australia to establish and fund a better COVID data collection system, review antiviral eligibility, and provide more support and education for GPs to treat the condition.

The inquiry was established in September and tasked with examining the health, social, educational and economic impacts of long COVID and repeat infections.

It received evidence from hundreds of affected people and their loved ones, along with researchers, healthcare providers, government officials and others.

The inquiry also recommended the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of long COVID be used clinically, but the government review it as more research becomes available.

The WHO defines long COVID — or “post COVID-19 condition” — as symptoms that usually develop three months after the onset of COVID and last for two months or more, and commonly include fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive dysfunction.

But the Royal Australian College of GPs told the inquiry that definition meant some patients were missing out on opportunities for early intervention, because they were forced to wait three months for a formal diagnosis.

In an issues paper released in December, the inquiry committee said the absence of a nationally consistent definition of long COVID had made collating and analysing data challenging.

More to come.


Source: abc.net.au

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