Thousands of people have fallen ill due to COVID-19, and health systems around the world are now having to make difficult decisions to treat the sick. The World Health Organization, along with local and national governments, is urging people to stay home as much as they can, and to practice social distancing when they need to go to public spaces.
Despite the fact that some people are able to work from home, and businesses like supermarkets, pharmacies, and restaurants are offering home delivery, there are still some activities, like medical appointments, that require leaving the house. During this difficult time, some people are now asking themselves if they should cancel their doctor’s appointments.
Should you cancel your medical appointments due to the coronavirus?
The answer is going to vary from person to person. If your appointment is an annual check-up that can be postponed a few weeks, you can call your doctor to ask if you can do that. Some hospitals are already canceling elective surgeries in order to free up hospital beds for people that will come down with the coronavirus, reports The New York Times.
If it’s a necessary appointment, but can be done virtually, you can call your doctor and ask if you can keep the appointment via video conference. This way you will still get the medical attention that you need, but you’ll lower the risk of getting sick, or of getting others sick.
At the end of the day, you need to take care of your health – if your appointments are necessary and need to be in person, talk to your medical providers. They are trained to protect their patients and themselves from illness, and will do everything in their power to see you safely.
How will medical providers protect their patients during the coronavirus pandemic?
This may include taking additional precautions, such as calling you ahead of your appointment to confirm that you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19, prohibiting anyone besides patients in the waiting room, or lowering the number of patients they see a day so that there is more time to disinfect between visits.
Medical professionals know the risks that they are taking, and will continue to do their jobs to make sure sick people have access to the care they need. If you feel sick, they will recommend that you seek medical attention.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus or have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for the illness, notify your healthcare provider ahead of time so that they can properly prepare to see you, or can help guide you towards other medical professionals that will help you.