Netherlands commits more money to Long Covid research

THE NETHERLANDS - The Ministry of Health is making more money available to study Long Covid, the collective name for the symptoms that affect some people who had coronavirus struggle for weeks or months. The funding was confirmed by Health Minister Hugo de Jonge in a letter to the Tweede Kamer.

People with Long Covid can suffer from fatigue, concentration problems and shortness of breath. Earlier, 2.88 million euros was already set aside for research into these ailments. An additional 7.8 million euros has now been committed. The research that is already underway is aimed in part at identifying the symptoms and the number of people who are affected by them. A study has also been launched into the effect of vaccination on Long Covid.

Elsewhere in the world, investigations into Long term Covid are also underway. The Dutch studies are registered with an international, central database so that researchers all over the world can take advantage of each other's knowledge.

The recovery care for people with Long Covid, such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, can be reimbursed from the basic health insurance package. The scheme that was previously created for this purpose has been extended until August 1 next year, at the request of the Tweede Kamer.

Long Covid patients also will get more time for a referral. Previously, they had to arrange their recovery care a maximum of four months after the end of the infection. They now have six months to do so. A general physician can also refer someone for a second phase of treatment, if necessary. 

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