Long Covid cost up to €180 billion per coronavirus year
The social costs of Long Covid in the Netherlands could amount to 180 billion euros per coronavirus year, health economist Xander Koolman of the VU Amsterdam said on NPO Radio 1.
Koolman calculated the amount based on data from abroad. “What we are seeing now in England is that about 1 percent of the working population is seriously affected by Long Covid. They can no longer work,” he said in the program Geld of je leven on Thursday.
If you translate that data to the Netherlands, about 100,000 Netherlands residents have Long Covid and are unable to work as a result. That lost labor market potential combined with the costs of treatment would result in a social cost of about 180 billion euros per coronavirus year.
Koolman stressed that the amount is a very rough estimate. It could turn out a lot lower if an effective treatment is found soon or if future coronavirus variants have less risk of Long Covid, he explained.
Last month a study by UMC Groningen and Radboud UMC found that one in eight coronavirus patients in the Netherlands developed Long Covid. They struggled with symptoms like loss of smell, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue months or even years after their coronavirus infection. Among hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 92 percent still had symptoms a year later, an Erasmus MC study found.