Evidence suggests health care professionals have little knowledge or expertise in diagnosing ME/CFS and other post-viral conditions such as Long COVID. Differentiation between ME/CFS and Long COVID is critical for accurate diagnosis and patient management.
Only 27% of respondents in Emerge Australia’s 2019 Health and Wellbeing survey considered their GP to be well informed about ME/CFS. GPs need accurate, safe, and up to date information about management and treatment options. The lack of this knowledge by healthcare professionals was evident in late May 2022 at the General Practice Convention & Exhibition (GPCE) in Sydney. Emerge Australia presented one of only three plenaries, about Long COVID and ME/CFS, to over 300 GPs. Feedback from attendees overwhelmingly supported the need for greater education about diagnosis and management of post-viral disease.
For those with Long COVID who experience symptoms of ME/CFS, symptom severity may be reduced, and likelihood of recovery may be increased, with early diagnosis and implementation of ME/CFS management techniques like pacing. Lack of practitioner knowledge means management techniques like pacing are infrequently prescribed. Pacing and other management techniques are proven to reduce the likelihood of further deterioration and significant disability in people with ME/CFS and are likely to similarly benefitLong COVID patients.
Asking the new Labor government for financial investment over the next three years to implement changes that have the potential to transform patient’s lives including updating Australia’s outdated Clinical Guidelines to reflect internationally agreed safe and best practice care for people with ME/CFS
 Emerge Australia. (2019). ‘Health and Wellbeing Survey 2019’. Available at http://emerge.org.au/health-and-wellbeing-survey-2019.