Page 1085 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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the nation and potentially around the world now and into the future. This post-COVID recovery clinic is a great example of how we are supporting Canberrans through the pandemic from an individual to a community level.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is this health service ensuring good health outcomes for Canberrans with a long-COVID diagnosis?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary. While most people who contract COVID-19 in our community, of course, will not experience significant post-COVID conditions, we know that quite a few may still be struggling to recover more than 12 weeks after their acute illness. The pioneering post-COVID recovery clinic at the University of Canberra Hospital will be a port of call for those who need additional support during this time.

Currently, the clinic operates every second Tuesday at UCH, with new patients triaged according to the severity of their ongoing symptoms. The clinic is accessed through referrals from primary care and specialists working with individual patients following their acute COVID-19 illness. Patients are provided with, as I said, individualised rehabilitation that will incorporate group and individual therapy.

An example of goals that health professionals and a patient might work through is returning to the same level of physical activity that they were doing prior to having COVID. A COVID-specific therapy group will also run twice a week, with as many as 12 existing patients attending this group therapy at any given time.

The post-COVID recovery clinic team includes a range of health professionals, including medical and allied health professionals, who work collaboratively to support patients to recover. The team is also ensuring good access for patients to other services such psychology, dietetics and speech pathology, depending on the individual’s symptoms and needs.

Madam Speaker, we expect that this service will be vital in helping those experiencing long COVID. Canberrans who had COVID more than 12 weeks ago and who are struggling to return to their activities should speak to their GP, their nurse practitioner or their specialist about options for recovery, including getting a referral to the excellent team at the post-COVID recovery clinic.

MS ORR: Minister, how does the post-COVID recovery clinic and our other ACT government health services reflect the ACT’s pandemic response?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary. The past two years have been an incredibly difficult time for our community. The ACT government has responded to these challenges and continues to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Our approach has always been to protect the health and wellbeing of Canberrans and we have continually adapted as we learn more about COVID-19 and experience its impact on the community.

The nation-leading post-COVID recovery clinic is another example of the innovative way the ACT government and its health services have responded. The clinic sits

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