Plaid Cymru calls for guidance to help navigate benefits, insurance and early retirement options for those with long COVID

Plaid Cymru has called for a national approach to long COVID in order to link up expertise and start to put a treatment pathway in place.

As increasing numbers of people are reporting long lasting symptoms months after catching coronavirus, Plaid Cymru’s heath spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth says the Welsh Government needs to move quicker on plans to support them.

Mr ap Iorwerth is calling on the Welsh Government to reveal what funding is going into specific research into long COVID, and to detail what support will be available for people with long term symptoms.

There is currently no clear guidance to help them navigate the benefits system, insurance systems, and early retirement options, given that long COVID may not be recognised or diagnosed as a condition.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said,

“When GPs are only seeing one or two cases at most, how are they expected to build up expertise to know how to deal with this? We didn’t expect GPs to work in isolation when the pandemic first arrived, so why is this being expected of them now?

“The Welsh Government must move quickly with a national approach. They also need to provide detail on the funding that has gone into specific research on long COVID.

“The sooner this debilitating disorder can be properly defined, the sooner it can be recognised and diagnosed. There are possibly thousands of people in Wales trying to deal with the impact of long term symptoms following coronavirus, and at the same time, navigate their way through a system that isn’t currently tailored for their needs.

“People just want to know how to deal with this syndrome. But without a treatment plan – accessible to everyone in Wales – we could be looking at the next health crisis.”