Family doctors say it’s important for patients, during the COVID-19 crisis, to stay in touch about other health issues as well as keep kids vaccinations up to date. Black Press file photo

Vancouver Island doctors tell patients to stay in touch over non-COVID issues

They also encourage parents to make sure they have their kids’ vaccinations up to date

While the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is at the top of everyone’s mind of late, it is not the only health concern for people.

Vancouver Island doctors say there is concern in the medical community that some people are not staying in touch with their family doctors, even if they are not feeling well, out of concern over COVID-19, or perhaps out of a misunderstanding about the availability of their family doctors. This, he says, is a situation in which patients can be risking harm to themselves.

“We could encourage people to be back in touch with their doctor now,” Dr. Adam Thompson, COVID-19 physician lead for the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, said. “Patients really do need to be getting in contact with their doctor if they’re feeling unwell.”

There is another concern family doctors have right now: the need for parents to ensure their children get their routine vaccinations.

The visiting process will still initially be through virtual communication to maintain physical distancing, while services such as prescriptions can be sent in directly.

“We’re here, and we’re offering the same hours,” he said. “We’re just doing practice in a slightly different way.”

Doctors of BC, formerly the BC Medical Association, has a video series for doctors about providing virtual care and notes on its website that 10,000 Zoom licences have been made available at no cost for doctors to provide virtual communication with patients.

Thompson says he expects some changes in the weeks ahead, with some routine work likely returning to hospitals. He says conserving personal protective equipment (PPE) remains a priority, adding there is the CAPE (Community Assessment and Physical Examination) Clinic set up to examine patients, that has demonstrated its ability to reduce PPE usage and standardise infection control for patient examinations.

RELATED STORY: Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

RELATED STORY: Island doctors on COVID-19: What to do, who to see, how to prevent the spread

Over the long term, once the COVID-19 situation has been eliminated or is at least under control, Thompson says the current situation could result in changes to the way care is provided, with more virtual care perhaps becoming a common practice, though this change would need to be in decided in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

“There’s a whole question about how primary care is going to change moving forward,” he said. “Are we going to be using virtual care a lot more than we have been in the past? We might find patients prefer the ability to do that.”

For more news from the Island and beyond delivered directly to your email inbox, click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

The secret life of tadpoles

Vancouver Island photographer Maxwel Hohn’s documentary traces the ‘big little migration’ of western toad tadpoles

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Exploring the mystery of a scooter-free YYJ

Victoria should be a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say company executives

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Water supplies declared safe in wake of major tire fire near Ladysmith

Concerns about water quality arose after Sept. 10 scrap yard fire at Schnitzer near Nanaimo Airport

Hundreds march against location of Duncan safe injection site

A Voice for Our Children opposes centre being near schools, recreation sites

Suspect robs store, stabs clerk in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for suspect in Ryan Road incident

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read