The health secretary must take urgent action to end the “betrayal” of long Covid sufferers started by his predecessor, Scottish Labour has said.
The party’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said thousands of sufferers are living a “precarious existence” and risk being forgotten about by the Scottish Government if action is not taken.
An estimated 172,000 people in Scotland are reported to be living with long Covid and many are unable to work due to the condition.
Scottish Labour said the Scottish Government has failed to match the level of support given to tackle the condition south of the border.
It said that while the SNP Government has promised to deliver a £10m long Covid support fund over the next three years, NHS England has dedicated £224m to support the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of people with the condition – with £90m of this allocated in 2022/23.
Scottish Labour claimed this would have produced £21.7m in Barnett consequentials for Scotland.
Baillie urged Michael Matheson, who replaced First Minster Humza Yousaf as health secretary, to take action.
She said: “Thanks to the disastrous decisions of the previous health secretary, thousands of Scots living with long Covid are living in pain or being forced to go private.
“Thousands of those with long Covid are unable to work and are living a precarious existence without the help they need and deserve.
“It is simply shocking that this SNP Government has failed time and time again to do right by those with long Covid and deliver the long-term funding that long Covid treatment needs.
“Michael Matheson is not to blame for this betrayal but he is now responsible for putting it right.
“If action is not taken now, long Covid sufferers risk falling off the radar and being forgotten about by this Government.
“Today I urge Mr Matheson – do right by those in need and end this betrayal.”
The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.
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