SNP ministers have come under fire after new statistics revealed that the Scottish Government is spending just £17 per long Covid sufferer – amid warnings patients would be “better off moving to England or Wales” for support.

Analysis obtained by the Scottish LibDems and the most recent figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that in 2023/23, England will spend £90m on supporting people affected by long Covid, equivalent to £58 per person.

In Wales, the spend is £8.3m or £88 per head.

But in Scotland, only £3m has been allocated for long Covid, at £17 per head.

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Long Covid is a condition where people have signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection that is consistent with Covid-19, which continues for more than four weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.

According to the ONS, there are estimated to be 172,000 people with long Covid in Scotland, compared to 94,000 in Wales and 1,560,000 in England.

Scottish LibDems leader, Cole-Hamilton, said: “Far too many Scots are struggling with long Covid.

“ONS data shows thousands more working-age people are economically inactive due to ill health. Getting those people healthy again would not just be good for the individual but good for the economy too.”

“It’s not just that Scotland was slow off the mark. Figures for the year ahead show that Scottish ministers think long Covid patients are worth little more than the price of a ticket from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

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“Many of those patients would be better off moving to England or Wales where clinical pathways are well established and funding is more generous.

“That’s a damning thing to say about Scotland under Humza Yousaf.”

The Scottish Government has pledged to deliver a £10m long Covid support fund over a three-year period, but NHS England has earmarked £224m of support to the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of people with long Covid.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government recognises the significant impact that long Covid can have on the health and wellbeing of those most severely affected across Scotland.

Read more: Long Covid: Two thirds of Scots face at-work discrimination

“We are making available £3m from our £10m long Covid support fund over this financial year to support NHS boards to increase the capacity of existing services supporting those with the condition, develop these into more clearly defined local pathways and provide a more co-ordinated experience for those accessing support.

“This is in addition to what our healthcare system is already delivering in caring for people with long Covid across our full range of NHS services.

“Our 2023-24 Scottish Budget delivers record funding of more than £19bn for the health portfolio, providing new investment of more than £1bn and supporting recovery and reform to secure sustainable public services.”