Plaid Cymru calls for end to piecemeal approach that is forcing long COVID patients to go private

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on health and care, has renewed his party’s calls for specialist long COVID clinics.

The lack of clinics in Wales is forcing many people to pay for private medical care.

When this was raised recently in Questions to the First Minister (25 January 2022) Mark Drakeford replied “I don't have the evidence that the Member refers to; I don't know what he means by many people going private.”

Responding to Mark Drakeford, the Long COVID Wales tweeted that “people with debilitating fatigue shouldn’t have to battle to get GP appointments and then battle again to try mostly unsuccessfully to get referred on to specialist care. One stop shop clinics would actually be much easier.”

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“There are thousands of people in Wales with long term symptoms following COVID – but with the current approach, there's 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.

“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-COVID is more prevalent in people living in more deprived areas. Treatment for long COVID should not be a preserve of the rich.”