Many countries are easing coronavirus restrictions and hospitals are now resuming the daily procedures and functions. The private clinics are also re-opening but all of this might still not be satisfactory for many people who are fearing the virus. The real question in this situation is; is going to a doctor during coronavirus pandemic safe or not?
The governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf as given permission to all authorized medical practitioners to re-open the clinics as long as they can facilitate people with medical care and advice. It includes all patients, regardless of them having coronavirus or any other health problem.
Still living without a coronavirus vaccine, the risk of getting the virus is still high, and there is no way to predict when would it end. It means that going in public is still a problem even if it is a visit to a doctor’s clinic or a hospital. However, this risk could be minimized with the following prevention plans and safety protocols.
Lawrence John is a certified physician and president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. He says that people shouldn’t be reluctant to seek medical help if they need it. It is necessary to pay attention to medical needs especially if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and kidney diseases.
The only way to reduce the risk is by following the protocols suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on coronavirus prevention mainly the ‘social distancing’. In addition to this, don’t forget to wear a mask and use a hand sanitizer whenever you touch a public surface or a person. Also, make sure that you are not deliberately touching these public surfaces i.e. elevator buttons, railings, doorknobs, etc.
All those hospitals that are currently treating coronavirus patients have established an isolation ward where these patients are kept and treated. The entrances to these isolation units are monitored and no unauthorized person is allowed to enter or to come into contact with any patient admitted here. It applies to the family members, friends, colleagues, and loves ones of the patients as well, and no one can meet the patient unless he discharges and allowed by his doctor to attend visitors.
Even that’s not all; all those doctors, nurses and healthcare staff members who are serving in the coronavirus isolation wards are not allowed to switch back and forth between the isolation ward and the regular wards of the hospitals. It is to make sure that they don’t take the virus with them to or from any ward to another.
Coming to the private clinic, the independent healthcare clinics are offering services by appointment only. Patients are not allowed to rush into an emergency at an independent consultation center. the emergency cases are advised to seek a hospital emergency unit and not a private clinic.
The patients are no more allowed in waiting areas or outside the clinic. They could either wait in their car or arrive on time when their appointment is reserved. Likewise, no visitors are allowed to touch or contaminate any property or surface on purpose. The sanitizers, soaps, and disinfectants are used thoroughly in private clinics as well as hospitals to ensure the safety of everyone who comes here.
Some of the clinics have taken an extra step and started to check the patient’s temperature before making their entry inside the clinic. Although primary this step is welcoming as it shows that people, as well as commercial healthcare units, are prioritizing public health during this coronavirus lockdown.
All healthcare units, whether public or private, irrespective of their size has upgraded their cleaning systems by using the most advanced disinfectants and increasing the cleaning rounds. The patients are advised to come alone without the attendants and everyone who enters the front door is immediately screened for the primary coronavirus symptoms.
Interacting with the doctor is also monitored with limited or controlled physical contact. All healthcare staff including those who are not in direct contact with the patients are required to wear the safety gear to protect themselves and all visitors from the coronavirus. Considering all these protocols, it looks like that going to a hospital or doctor’s clinic during the coronavirus pandemic is safe when you are following the recommendations properly.