Post COVID-19 condition: the FOPH response

The acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic is now behind us, but the coronavirus continues to circulate. Together with Switzerland’s cantons and further healthcare partners, the FOPH is working to ensure that persons suffering from post COVID-19 condition (which is also known as «long covid») receive appropriate treatment and support. You’ll find an overview of such actions and activities below.

The report of the Federal Council

The FOPH was commissioned by the Swiss Federal Council to investigate the healthcare which is being provided to persons suffering from post COVID-19 condition. The results of our investigation were communicated by the Federal Council in its report of 29 November 2023.

The Federal Council concludes that the Swiss healthcare system has responded swiftly to the long-term consequences of COVID-19. Switzerland has a well-developed network of points of contact for any persons so affected. There is scope for improvement, too, however, particularly in terms of access to the services available and their structure and design, the sharing of knowledge and expertise and the collaborations between the various service providers. These shortcomings should be rectified, and the cantons and the healthcare institutions should continue to maintain such care and support in line with present and future needs.

The report of the Federal Council is available in German, French or Italian.

The Federal Council’s report is based on studies of the present care provision situation in Switzerland and on regular exchanges with the partners involved within the healthcare sector. The report was compiled in response to a parliamentary postulate (21.3014), and further covers the Federal Council’s response to a parliamentary motion (21.3453) on the same issue.

Research reports

The interdisciplinary advisory group

An interdisciplinary advisory group was established by the FOPH in autumn 2021 to support the work being conducted on post COVID-19 condition. The group includes persons affected, primary care providers, specialist doctors, rehabilitation professionals and researchers, along with representatives from the Swiss Medical Association (FMH), insurers, the Swiss Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Public Health (CMPH) and the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO). Its aim is to clarify the situation in Switzerland, identify any shortcomings and instigate the implementation of appropriate measures in response.

Treatment recommendations

Anyone who develops post COVID-19 condition should be swiftly diagnosed, receive the best possible care and be referred on for further specialist treatment if required. Working with the FOPH’s financial and organisational support, a committee of specialists has devised standardised recommendations for diagnosing and treating post COVID-19 condition. These recommendations are intended for general practitioners and other primary care and rehabilitation specialists. The recommendations were presented to an expert audience at a conference co-held with the FMH on 1 June 2023. They are also available on the Altea and RAFAEL platforms.


There are still gaps in our knowledge of post COVID-19 condition, especially in terms of its causes and its treatment options. The FOPH provided financial support for five research projects into post COVID-19 condition in 2021 and 2022. In addition, the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) has been regularly reviewing new publications and compiling corresponding summaries of the latest findings on the subject on the FOPH’s behalf.

Details of the studies which the FOPH has promoted and the publication research on post COVID-19 condition will be found on our Research projects and literary research on COVID-19 webpage.

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has supported at least 17 projects looking into the long-term effects of COVID-19. These can be found via the SNSF’s COVID-19 research project registry.

Further studies currently being conducted in Switzerland on post COVID-19 condition will be found in the Registry of all Projects in Switzerland (RAPS) or via the Swiss National Clinical Trials Portal (SNCTP).

The COVID-19 medicine funding programme

As part of the Funding programme for COVID-19 medicines the FOPH has helped finance the development of medicines to combat COVID-19. Of the four projects originally selected for such funding, two remain in the programme. One of these is developing monoclonal antibodies to treat post COVID-19 condition in patients suffering severe neuropsychiatric symptoms. The programme continues, but will be concluded by the end of June 2024.

International dialogue

The FOPH has been conducting regular exchanges with specialists at the health authorities in Germany and Austria since March 2022. The meetings concerned enable participants to share and compare their strategies for dealing with post COVID-19 condition and their experiences in doing so.

Data collection

The FOPH has looked into various ways of recording cases of post COVID-19 condition. These studies have concluded that it will not be possible to establish any form of authoritative data register thereof, in view of the range of pathologies seen, their changing symptoms over time and the lack of the requisite legal foundation. So the FOPH is working instead on utilising existing data sources and making these more accessible.

One such source is already available: the Sentinella reporting system, which is used to monitor trends in infectious diseases and to promote their research within the GP sector. From July 2021 to May 2023, data were collated monthly on the numbers of consultations that GPs recorded with patients reporting persistent symptoms of illness after contracting COVID-19. The results of these activities are published here:

The Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) also provides access to the data deriving from its monitoring of the applications it receives for ‘IV’ Swiss state disability insurance benefits.


Postulate 21.3014 – Ensuring suitable treatment and rehabilitation for people with long COVID (in French, German and Italian)

Motion 21.3453 – Scientific monitoring of cases of long COVID (in French, German and Italian)

Last modification 05.12.2023

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