Long term health consequences of COVID-19: can value-based health care provide a way forward

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

‘Australia has succeeded in limiting and largely controlling the spread of COVID-19 and we must now shift our focus to responding to the long term health consequences of COVID,’ says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association Chief Executive Adj Prof Alison Verhoeven.

An issues brief, Managing the long term health consequences of COVID-19 in Australia, published today by the Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association’s (AHHA) Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research examines how a value-based health care approach can support Australia’s response to the long term health consequences of COVID-19. 

Deferral of care, workforce burnout and Long COVID are just some of the long term consequences that present significant challenges for the health system, according to authors A/Prof Martin Hensher et al from the Institute for Health Transformation and Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University.   

‘An outcomes-focused, value-based health care approach that reflects contemporary governance and funding arrangements, and that can achieve effective management of Long COVID provides, a useful template for a national strategy for managing the long-term sequelae of COVID-19,’ says Adj Prof Verhoeven.

’Although estimated case numbers in Australia of Long COVID are low, the international experience suggests that integrated, well-coordinated multidisciplinary care with patients at the centre is required.

‘A/Prof Hensher and colleagues recommend the establishment of a national post-COVID Centre of Excellence, to lead research and modelling on the impact of Long COVID in different population groups, and to develop clinical guidelines that reflect evolving evidence on the long-term management of patients.

‘While the immediate priority must be prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks, public health services are already having to respond to the emerging care needs of patients who may have suffered organ damage and impairment due to COVID-19. Ensuring funding, data, clinical governance and workforce arrangements support an effective response to Long Covid patients will assist in balancing the competing risks of inaction and overdiagnosis,’ says Adj Prof Verhoeven.

Managing the long term health consequences of COVID-19 in Australia is available online. More information on AHHA and the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research is available at ahha.asn.au

The AHHA's Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care will be co-hosting the first National Value-Based Health Care Conference this week with the Continuous Improvement in Care Cancer Project. For more information about the conference visit: ciccancer.com/vbhcconf. For more information on the Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care visit: valuebasedcareaustralia.com.au.


Media enquiries:  A/Prof Martin Hensher, Health System Financing and Organisation

Institute for Health Transformation

Deputy Director, Deakin Health Economics


P: 0401 301 321