We may anticipate that as COVID-19 becomes endemic in the future, so too will be an ongoing stream of patients whose infections develop into Long COVID, even if they have been vaccinated. Our health systems must move quickly to support this growing cohort of post-viral patients, and to manage the impending public health crisis and consequent economic impacts posed by Long COVID.
Support for Australians living with Long COVID and ME/CFS currently exists in silos. The burden of disease for ME/CFS, as described above, should be read as a warning about the potential impact of Long COVID.
Since 1999, the Federal Department of Health has sought to focus public attention and health policy on those areas considered to contribute significantly to the burden of disease in Australia, and for which there is potential for health gain. Accordingly, as a collaborative effort involving Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, six National Health Priority Areas (NHPA’s) have already been created.