Why is the Minister continuing to give experts and patient advocates the cold shoulder? 

The Minister for Health must explain why he’s ignored repeated calls to fund the Mater’s Long Covid Clinic, according to Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“The Mater’s clinic is the longest running Long Covid clinic in Ireland and yet it’s being forced to cut back its services.

“Clinicians in the Mater have been at the coal face of Long Covid since June 2020. Over the past two years, they have published 17 articles on Covid and a study of 155 Long Covid patients which uncovered high levels of neurological complications and mental health difficulties.

“Despite these findings, the Government’s interim plan for managing Long Covid is primarily focused on the lungs and heart, not the brain.

“Only one neurologist has been funded under the Government’s plan and the Mater has been excluded from Long Covid clinic funding. It beggars belief that the clinic with the most expertise and institutional knowledge has essentially been cast aside.

“The neurological and psychological impacts of Long Covid have been known for some time, having first been identified in the medical literature in December 2020, nine months before this Government’s guidance was finalised.

“This raises serious questions for the Minister for Health and the HSE.

“Why hasn’t the interim guidance for Long Covid kept pace with the science? Why is the Minister continuing to give experts and patient advocates the cold shoulder? Why won’t the Minister for Health fund the Mater’s Long Covid Clinic?

“Ultimately, Long Covid patients will suffer most unless this Government designs services based on the science.”

2 October, 2022


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