15 Aug 2022

Call to expand Long Covid clinic in Limerick

Call to expand Long Covid clinic in Limerick

A Long Covid clinic was established at University Hospital Limerick in May | Picture: Adrian Butler

METROPOLITAN councillors have agreed to lobby both Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and HSE boss Paul Reid to expand the Long Covid clinic in Limerick.

University Hospital Limerick confirmed last month it would establish a clinic here, meaning patients would no longer have to travel to Galway or Waterford, which were previously the closest such facilities.

Around one in 10 people develop Long Covid after initially contracting coronavirus. Long Covid is defined as when symptoms persist longer than 12 weeks after infection and are not due to another diagnosis.

Speaking at this month's metropolitan meeting, Labour councillor Elena Secas saw a notice of motion passed which will now see members write to urge an increase in the clinic here.

She said: "The health supports needed for those suffering are not in abundance or widely available. Only recently, one Long Covid sufferer was informed the care they were receiving from one of Ireland's only Long Covid clinics in St James in Dublin was due to be cut which is against the stated aim of the HSE Model of Care."

"With Covid-19 cases rising again, many people are really struggling to get the care they need to cope with the breathing difficulties and the fatigue they experience. Research and reality show that Long Covid is actually worse than originally thought in that it can affect one's brain, cause brain fog, anxiety and depression," the City East councillor added.

Her motion - which also called for the request to be brought to UHL - will be sent around to other councils across the country.

It was Cllr Secas's party colleague, Cllr Conor Sheehan who formally seconded it.

He said: "The vast majority of people with Long Covid are suffering in silence. Some people are so sick they need to learn how to sit up and walk again. We need to see the HSE plan for this."

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