If long COVID-19 is included in the manual, then it will be endorsed by the Ministry of Health and covered by BPJS
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Pulmonologist Association (PDPI) strives to treat patients ailing from long COVID-19 to be covered by funds from the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).

"Currently, patients suffering from long COVID-19 are not covered by BPJS," Head of the Work Team from PDPI Erlina Burhan stated at a training for media related to drugs and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic organized by the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) on Tuesday.

Burhan noted that her side had conveyed to related stakeholders that long COVID-19 often experienced by COVID-19 patients had been included in the World Health Organization (WHO) guidebook.

"If long COVID-19 is included in the manual, then it will be endorsed by the Ministry of Health and covered by BPJS," she remarked.

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The pulmonary specialist from the Department of Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, is currently drafting a protocol as input for the revision in the new guidelines.

"We are preparing the protocol to be recognized by the Ministry of Health and will be covered by BPJS. There have been talks there," she noted.

The preparation of the protocol, includes drug variants and treatment methods for long COVID-19 patients, Burhan remarked.

On a separate occasion, a health science expert from the University of Indonesia, Professor Tjandra Yoga Aditama, drew attention to economic aspects and health insurance pertaining to long COVID-19.

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Aditama noted that the WHO had gathered expert opinions from various countries in the form of the Delphi Consensus to define the long COVID-19 condition that had been published on October 6, 2021.

Survivors often complained of various symptoms that are quite prolonged after being cured of COVID-19. Some symptoms lasted for weeks or even months after recovering.

Aditama stated that long COVID-19 can be experienced in probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Usually, complaints arise after three months since the first symptom, with such effects lasting for at least two months.

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Patients usually complain about symptoms, such as abdominal pain, menstrual disorders, smell and tasting problem, anxiety, blurred vision, chest pain, cough, depression, dizziness, and fever that comes and goes.

Other symptoms can also be gastrointestinal disorders, both diarrhea and constipation, and acid reflux, headaches, memory problems, joint pain, muscle aches, neuralgia, new forms of allergies, sleep disorders, palpitations, and also hearing problems.

"From the point of view of the health economy, there must be a financial mechanism, so that long COVID-19 patients can continue to receive good medical treatment without being burdened with costs. This is in accordance with the Universal Health Care (UHC) principle adopted by the world," he added.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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