Long Covid

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st April 2022.

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Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

It is estimated that 132,000 people in Scotland are suffering from long Covid, 59,000 of whom have experienced symptoms for more than a year. We face a ticking time bomb, and yet the Scottish National Party Government is merely sticking its head in the sand, having dropped the proposed debate on long Covid from this afternoon’s schedule, thereby preventing the Parliament from having an opportunity to discuss the issue. When will we have specialist long Covid clinics in Scotland?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

We are currently implementing the commitments in the long Covid approach paper, which is all about improving care and support for people in Scotland with long Covid. Long Covid clinics are one model that health boards can consider, but we have always recognised—rightly, I believe—that no single approach will fit all areas and circumstances, so health boards must look at a range of approaches.

As far as the issue of a debate on long Covid is concerned, we have made it clear and given a commitment that we will have such a debate in the next few weeks. At that time, we will provide a full update on progress. The intention is that we will provide Parliament with a detailed update on the outcome of the planning process that is currently being undertaken with national health service boards to determine the first allocations of the long Covid support fund, which is what MSPs have called for.