Calls In Clare For Greater Recognition Of Long Covid

Picture © Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

Clare’s Oireachtas Health Committee members are calling for greater recognition of the challenges posed by long Covid.

The condition, which is thought to affect over 7% of the population, was the main topic of discussion at this week’s meeting of the committee.

It’s estimated over 350,000, or more than one in 15 people in Ireland, suffer from self-reported symptoms of long Covid.


Characterised by symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and brain fog, the condition is a long-term complication of Covid-19, with debilitating consequences for those who experience it.

Crusheen native Steve Barrett has been living with long Covid symptoms since being hospitalised with Covid-19 in January 2022.

He says the condition has forced him to make drastic changes in both his personal and professional life.

You can listen to the full interview here:

You can listen to the full interview here:

Special leave with pay for healthcare workers with long Covid was halted at the end of March, but has this week been reinstated by the Department of Health, and will apply retrospectively to April 1st, with no impact on sick leave entitlements.

Speaking at this week’s meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Meelick Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe says despite the obvious suffering of many, the condition still isn’t understood or taken seriously by many employers.

You can listen to the full interview here:

A major talking point of the meeting was perceived regional imbalance when it comes to resources for sufferers of long Covid.

The meeting heard that the dedicated long Covid clinic in University Hospital Limerick only sees six to eight patients a month and only operates for two-and-a-half to four hours weekly.

In addition, despite brain fog and cognitive problems being prominent symptoms of the condition, the only neurologist in the country appointed to the care of long Covid patients is in St. James’s Hospital in Dublin.

Addressing HSE officials at the meeting, Ennistymon Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway says greater efforts must be made to ensure long Covid sufferers aren’t disadvantaged because of where they live.