Improved training of health professionals in ME/Long Covid

ME/CFS is poorly understood by many health professionals, including Doctors and Mental Health professionals.

Long Covid is essentially identical to ME/CFS, and is a huge problem at the moment and into the future, unless a cure can be found.

Knowledge about the best way to treat this condition has evolved over the last 7 years or so, but the new knowledge has yet to filter down to health professionals here.

Many do not believe that it is a real physiological condition (which it is) and send patients (especially males) into the Mental Health system, where help is rare and harm all too common.

Many health professionals suggest "Pushing through" and exercising as a way of improving their health. With certain types of fatigue this advice would be correct, but is often harmful to those suffering from ME/CFS.

Many still believe that the treatments suggested by the PACE study (Graded Exercise Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is the correct treatment path

That study has been extensively analysed and discredited, and most countries have moved away from it.

There is a wide range of severity of symptoms experienced by sufferers, form mild impairment right through to bed-bound and unable to even get to the toilet without assistance. Doctors probably have never seen a severe cas of ME as the patient is too disabled to travel to the surgery, and doctors do not in general make house calls.

It is absolutely bizarre that ME (at least in its severe form) is not accepted as a "Disability". Overseas studies have concluded that ME in its sever form is vastly more disabling than many other conditions that are accepted as a disability. This needs to change.

Understanding of this disease needs to improve, drastically and soon, especially as there are a lerge number in our population with ME and now Long Covid.  Some sufferers would be bringing their skills back to the workforce if their condition improved, and, as many sufferers require full time care, other family members who are not themselves sick are tied up caring for an ME sufferer.  This is a significant cost to our society.

Improved training around the latest knowledge would reduce the harm being done to ME sufferers by uninformed medical professionals.


Why the contribution is important

Many ME patients, and now Long Covid patients,  have experienced dismissive attidudes and incorrect treatment.  It is a basic tenet of medicine: "First do no harm".

Unfortunately, many patients are in fact being harmed by incorrect treatment.

Although there is no known cure yet, and no diagnostic test, correct treatment can reduce the level of discomfort and disability among patiens... and this should be a goal.


Correct treatment could increase the chance of patients getting back into the workforce, even if part-time, which would reduce the cost to society.

by Drum5656 on March 31, 2023 at 05:54PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by GlenysR April 01, 2023 at 19:38

    Totally agree. There appears to be a great lack of up to date knowledge amongst health professionals.
  • Posted by parekawa777 April 01, 2023 at 19:59

    Absolutely tautoko this kōrero.
  • Posted by FYRBAL April 01, 2023 at 20:01

    I support any idea that calls for an increase in training, awareness and resources for those with Long Covid and ME/CFS.
  • Posted by vision4ME April 11, 2023 at 09:49

    I support this call for improved education for all health professionals who may come into contact with people with ME.

    Current medical education is hit and miss. Some university courses and continuing medical education modules are excellent and up to date. But others continue to teach treatments based on outdated ideas, treatments which have been shown to be harmful to many patients and which therefore have been removed from updated guidance from for example the CDC in the US and NICE in the UK.

    Aspiring health professionals have no influence over what they are being taught at university. Health professionals seeking to upskill have no way of knowing which category the module they are undertaking fits into. Consequently they risk inadvertently causing harm to their patients.
    Currently medical education about ME/CFS appears to be influenced as much by the personal opinions of a few individual as as it is by the body of evidence. This is unacceptable.

    My 'idea' titled "National postinfectious illness telehealth 4 ME/CFS, Long Covid & related illnesses" outlines how medical care and medical education could be tackled in tandem.
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