Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane has called for a clear plan, backed by Scottish Government funding, to be laid out for those suffering long Covid.
The condition sees sufferers of coronavirus hit with lasting effects that can continue for months, including respiratory issues, fatigue, chronic pain and fever.
Dr Gulhane, who was elected as an MSP for Glasgow in May, has published a 17-page policy paper calling for ministers to put a plan in place to deal with the condition, along with ring-fenced funding.
He said specialist clinics for dealing with long Covid, which have already been set up in England, should be created in Scotland, along with a smartphone app to help patients access different specialist treatment services.
The Scottish Government has previously been pressed on the issue of the creation of such clinics, but Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said it is important to understand more about the condition before such a move is made, adding that it may not be the case that long Covid clinics can be “transplanted” to Scotland because they have been opened elsewhere.
Speaking as he published the paper, Dr Gulhane said: “As a GP, I have seen the devastating effects of long Covid on many of my patients. Fit and healthy individuals have been left crippled by fatigue or gasping for breath.
“This policy paper is the first step to get the SNP Government to treat long Covid with the seriousness it deserves. We need to see SNP ministers urgently outline a clear strategy to tackle the disease and ring-fence funding to specifically treat long Covid patients.
“A network of long Covid clinics, alongside a new app-based treatment service, would ensure we reach everyone struggling with this debilitating condition.
“Patients cannot wait for years for action. Too many people who fought Covid are still suffering with the consequences, months after they caught the virus.
“I urge SNP ministers to get on top of long Covid now before it spirals and has serious knock-on consequences for other services in Scotland’s NHS.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We recognise the impact long Covid has on physical and mental wellbeing and we are working to ensure people have access to the support they need for assessment, diagnosis, care and rehabilitation and in a setting that is as close to their home as possible.
“Our approach in responding to this new condition is underpinned by strengthening the existing services offered by our NHS, partnering with the third sector and supporting research in order to understand and learn more about the condition.
“NHS Scotland continues to deliver its full range of services to support the needs of people with long Covid, and we are engaging with NHS Boards as they coordinate pathways across primary, community and secondary care services to support a coherent patient journey.
“Whilst long Covid clinics are one model that NHS Boards may explore, we know no one single approach is likely to fit all areas and circumstances.
“This is still a relatively new illness and it is important that we continue to improve our understanding of its effects on people.
“We are keeping all aspects under review, including specialist services and funding to ensure people suffering from long Covid receive the best possible care and support.”