Company doctors unsure how to handle staff with long Covid


Company doctors are struggling to advise workers with long Covid, or the long term, often debilitating after-effects of a coronavirus infection, a survey by the Dutch association of company doctors NVAB has shown.

Some 80% of the 400 respondents said they lacked the knowledge to properly estimate what treatment people with long Covid need and that they need more information.

‘Some of the doctors are wondering if what they are seeing is really related to Covid,’ NVAB chair Gert-Jan Beens told KRO-NCRV current affairs programme Pointer.

Many companies show little understanding for workers with long Covid, Beens said. A quarter of the doctors said they felt pressured by management to declare people with long term problems fit for work.

Long Covid comprises a host of health problems, from tiredness, headaches, loss of sense of smell, low level fever, chest pains to depression and brain fog.

Organisation C-support, which was set up to help sufferers, told the programme it is aware of employers’ impatience.

‘There are employers who think that [the diagnosis] is very inconvenient,’ the organisation’s medical advisor Alfons Olde Loohuis told the programme. ‘That in turn can lead to a stand-off at work which may make health problems worse.’

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