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

Comox Valley family 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.

Dr. Adam Thompson, COVID-19 physician lead for the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, says 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,” he 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 standardize infection control for patient examinations.

RELATED STORY: Doctors announce CAPE Clinic, assessment clinic for Comox Valley

RELATED STORY: Comox Valley hospital prepared for COVID-19 wave

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 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.”



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusDoctors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Cumberland wants more done to stop drug deaths

Motions include writing Dr. Bonnie Henry, holding naloxone workshop

Courtenay theatre gets support for livestream ‘hybrid’ shows this year

Island Coastal Economic Trust funds help Sid Williams Theatre with infrastructure, training

Military police training in Comox Valley

Latest quarterly session for training is July 6-8

Solar, seismic work among Comox Valley school district requests

District also wants to get a new roof on top of Mark R. Isfeld Secondary

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read