Company doctors troubled by lack of long Covid experience
Many company doctors said they find it difficult to advise employees suffering from long Covid, due to a lack of scientific knowledge about the condition. A poll carried out by the Dutch occupational medicine authority, NVAB, showed that 80% of company doctors say they need more information in order to properly deal with these patients.
Long Covid, a condition in which people face the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness, is often questioned by doctors. An investigation into the syndrome was announced by public health agency RIVM last month, with newspaper AD saying about 40 thousand people suffer from long-term Covid-19 complaints like depression, fatigue, concentration issues, breathing problems, chest pain, headaches, and muscular pain.
"Some of the doctors wonder whether complaints have to do with coronavirus. They say, 'If I don't know, it could be something else,'" said NVAB chairman and company doctor Gert-Jan Beens to Pointer
Additionally, many companies appear to have very little understanding for their staff suffering from long Covid. A quarter of the company doctors who participated in the research said they experienced pressure from the employer to quickly get staff with long covid symptoms back to work.
C-support, the organization that helps patients with long Covid, also warned of employers not taking the dangers of the condition very seriously. "There are employers who think, 'This is inconvenient for me.' Then problems can arise that can be very unsafe for people. This can even make their symptoms worse," said Alfons Olde Loohuis, C-support medical advisor.
Outbreak Management Team member Diederik Gommers previously also advocated special outpatient clinics to be set up for people suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus infection. The RIVM study will follow one thousand Dutch people afflicted with Covid-19 for one year to investigate how their health has changed after their initial recovery.