These guidelines are intended to provide clinical guidance on long COVID conditions in both children and adults in Aotearoa New Zealand and are primarily for primary care practitioners, community and hospital clinicians; and will also be useful for individuals who have adults and children in their whanau with long COVID.
“We know how COVID-19 has affected a large proportion of New Zealanders since the pandemic began in 2020,” says the Ministry’s Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Dr Martin Chadwick.
“We are continuing to learn more about the effects of long COVID and these guidelines add to the information and resources we and other health agencies have been developing and making available for use since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The guidelines look at the options for care available to people with the condition; it gives advice to health professionals on what to look for when diagnosing long COVID and what resources are available to people to manage those symptoms.
“We have had input, while creating these guidelines, from health professionals around the country in a number of fields; researchers and people who’ve experienced COVID-19 and long COVID,” says Dr Chadwick.
“It’s been important to gather all this expertise together to produce guidelines which will, we hope, be a useful tool for health professionals and people who’ve experienced these conditions and continue to live with them today.
“In the meantime, we’ve been continuing to monitor the global and domestic situation, adding resources to our website and making available resources for primary care, allied health and nursing professionals.
“As Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, I’ve also been regularly involved in webinars and other sessions to talk about long COVID to clinicians around the country, based on our research, evidence and experience to date.
“We know COVID has been evolving, so too has long COVID. And because of that, these guidelines will evolve too. We will ensure they’re updated when they need to be and will continue to reflect best practice. We will also continue to this make this material more accessible for all sectors of the population,” says Dr Chadwick.