The Scottish Government has been urged to consider proposals to establish a network of specialist clinics to help treat long Covid.
Ahead of a meeting with health secretary Humza Yousaf, Scottish Conservative MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane said that long Covid is beginning to overwhelm frontline medical services.
Gulhane has called for long Covid clinics, having published a policy paper on the condition which outlined a number of recommendations to tackle it.
It included calls for the government to publish a clear long Covid strategy and to create a long Covid care fund.
As well as proposing the establishment of the clinics, Gulhane also urged ministers to work with health services and research institutions across the UK to learn more about the disease, as well as adopting an app-based treatment service.
Gulhane, who is the Scottish Conservatives’ public health spokesperson, said: “I look forward to meeting Humza Yousaf today and thank him for agreeing to the meeting.
“Long Covid threatens to overwhelm NHS services unless the government acts quickly. Patients are coming to GPs in droves, showing symptoms of extreme fatigue, breathlessness, and brain fog.
“We published a policy paper with constructive ideas to tackle long Covid more than a month ago and so far, the SNP Government have rejected these solutions.
“At our meeting, I will be seeking to convince Humza Yousaf to reconsider and agree to Scottish Conservative proposals, particularly for a network of Long Covid clinics. Patients cannot wait years for action.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Cabinet Secretary welcomed the opportunity to meet with Dr Gulhane, to outline the Scottish Government’s approach to responding to long Covid, through strengthening the existing services offered by our NHS, partnering with the third sector and investing £2.5m in research in order to learn more about the condition.
“This was a constructive meeting and the Cabinet Secretary reiterated that if Health Boards wish to deliver Long Covid clinics then they were able to do so.
“We continue to engage with NHS Boards to identify their support needs in relation to delivering care and support to people with long COVID.
“All aspects, including specialist services and funding are being kept under review to ensure people suffering from long COVID receive the best possible care and support. Mr Yousaf agreed to update Dr Gulhane in the coming weeks.”