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Independent Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health publishes opinion on the impact of the post-COVID-19 condition (long COVID) on health systems

date:  12/12/2022

Today, the European Commission published an opinion by the independent Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health on the impact of the post-COVID-19 (long COVID) condition on health systems. The publication coincides with the EU-US conference on long COVID, held on 13 December.

The recommendations of the expert panel put an emphasis on research, including patient involvement, potential treatments, and the need to embed research on long COVID at all levels of care, including rehabilitation. Other recommendations call for continued efforts to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 (e.g. through vaccination), investment in primary care, specialised training and establishing surveillance systems to track the epidemiology of long COVID.

Organisational and resource requirements for healthcare systems to design and develop appropriate health services for long COVID are discussed with a focus on implications for the health workforce, preventing long COVID among essential workers and supporting health workers with long COVID. The opinion considers models of care for patients with long COVID, including service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing, leadership and governance.

The opinion is based on a review of the available evidence on what long COVID is and its probable causes and symptoms. As knowledge on long COVID is evolving, the expert panel highlights some of the key characteristics and issues that still need better understanding. 

The Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health is an interdisciplinary and independent group established by the European Commission to provide non-binding independent advice on matters related to effective, accessible and resilient health systems.

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