You can still call your doctor when you need medical care. (File photo)

B.C. doctors provide virtual care to patients

Television or video in addition to in-person care

B.C.’s doctors are now available to provide care to patients using telephone or video during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to providing in-person care when necessary.

The increased use of virtual care allows patients to receive medical care from their own doctor while practising physical distancing or self-isolation. It protects not only patients, but also their doctors so they can continue to treat patients during the virus outbreak.

“Family doctors know their patients best — they know their medical histories, their families, and understand their needs,” says Doctors of BC President Dr. Kathleen Ross. “Many medical issues can be assessed and treated by phone and video.”

Ross urges patients to call their doctor first when they need medical care.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island seniors die in hospital due to COVID-19

“Although the virus is top of mind right now, people still need ongoing care and advice for acute or chronic conditions requiring treatment or medication,” she said. “There is a misconception that patients shouldn’t contact their doctors for routine appointments or non- COVID-19 related illness right now — absolutely they should,” she added.

Family physicians will also continue to refer patients to specialists as needed.

For seniors living at home, those with disabilities, or people considering themselves to be high-risk, it is especially important that they contact their doctor for advice if they have not already connected.

Doctors will let their patients know if an in-person visit is needed, and their staff will follow up to make arrangements.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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