Long COVID clinic to be established

06 Jun 2022

Jeremy Rockliff, Premier and Minister for Health

As part of Tasmania’s ongoing response to COVID-19, the Tasmanian Liberal Government will invest $400,000 to establish a statewide navigation and referral service specialising in Long COVID.

Long COVID is a syndrome that may cause a wide variety of symptoms that continue for four weeks or longer in a patient who has had a diagnosis of COVID.

While evidence suggests that for the vast majority of Tasmanians who have had the Omicron variant, Long COVID does not become an issue, our knowledge of this issue continues to evolve.

That’s why, in response to feedback from the community and our medical colleagues, a specialised service will complement existing pathways available by providing a single point of referral for GPs across the State.

All patients will be managed by their GP in the first instance who will then refer the patient to the service where the patient will be assisted in navigating the health services they need.

It is important that patients see their GP in the first instance for two reasons: it’s critical that other illnesses are not missed at the point of referral, and secondly, GPs can determine if their patients require referral to the new service where input may be sourced from specialists in fields including infectious diseases, respiratory medicine, psychology and neurology.

Getting the health response to match the individual needs of the person is critical to managing Long COVID and it is important that those impacted by Long COVID know that care will be available.

The service is expected to be fully developed and launched in September 2022 and will be available state-wide. More details will become available closer to the date of commencement.

Finally, there is strong evidence that demonstrates fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to experience Long COVID, and, those who do develop Long COVID, typically experience symptoms that are less severe and last for a shorter period. So we continue to encourage Tasmanians to stay up to date with vaccinations