Long Covid: what the BMA wants to see now

The BMA report highlighted by Independent Practitioner Today outlines a number of key asks, including:

  • Financial support for doctors and healthcare staff with post-acute Covid;
  • Post-acute Covid to be recognised as an occupational disease in healthcare workers, with a definition that covers all of the debilitating disease’s symptoms;
  • Improved access to physical and mental health services to aid comprehensive assessment, appropriate investigations and treatment;
  • Greater workplace protection for healthcare staff risking their lives for others;
  • Better support for post-acute Covid sufferers to return to work safely if they can, including a flexible approach to the use of workplace adjustments.

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Prof David Strain. © BMA/Jess Hurd

Prof David Strain, BMA board of science chairman, called the doctors’ account ‘heart-breaking’.

He said: ‘Contrary to what some may associate with the term “Long Covid”, these doctors are not just “a bit tired”, nor are they “withdrawn due to the isolation of lockdowns”. They are living with a range of serious health conditions caused by their initial Covid-19 infection, most likely caught while they were caring for others on the front line.

‘Many describe not being able to do basic daily tasks like brushing their hair, cooking for their children or the basic arithmetic required to pay for items in shops, let alone go to work as a doctor with gruelling hours and frequent complex decision-making that patients’ safety hinges on.

‘Even within the medical community, it’s clear from the survey findings that there needs to be much more awareness of the range of symptoms that long Covid encompasses and far better availability of specialist care and support for those living with it.’