Special clinics are set to open across the state to provide treatment, care and support to people with Long COVID. The Malinauskas State Government is opening clinics at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital will also provide a specialist service for children with Long COVID symptoms through its outpatients clinics.
Health and Wellbeing Minister Chris Picton says “We are making sure that we are prepared for Long COVID cases and a system-wide approach is needed to ensure the health service can respond effectively,”
“This will involve GPs, clinic staff and other health professionals in managing the treatment and care of people with Long COVID.”
The Government is preparing for Long COVID cases in the wake of the Omicron wave, and a system-wide approach is needed to ensure the health service can respond effectively.
“Long COVID sufferers frequently have problems with anxiety, depression, mobility, pain and discomfort, which impair their ability to function normally pre-COVID and they have trouble performing activities of daily living such as working and caring for family,” says Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr Emily Kirkpatrick.
“Symptoms of Long COVID include fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive dysfunction, which can fluctuate or relapse over time.
“This ensures those who are vulnerable are on our radar and can transition to appropriate Long COVID care within our hospitals if they continue to suffer symptoms beyond 12 weeks.”
Evidence overseas and interstate shows that a proportion of people who contract the virus will suffer longer-lasting effects, more than 12 weeks after acute illness, and these people will require health care and support.
Importantly, being fully vaccinated appears to show a decrease in the chance of experiencing Long COVID.
While some patients will need long term rehabilitation, the Long COVID clinic will care for patients and support them to get to a stage where their condition can be successfully managed in a community care setting.
The clinics will be staffed by experienced doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Patients will be referred to the clinics by their GP where they will be reviewed.
Clinic staff will work with the patient and their GP on plans to manage their symptoms and work towards improvement. They could be referred to other health professionals for further treatment.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.
Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting.
For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787