B.C. doctors are encouraging patients to access virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By using telephone or video to receive medical care from their doctor, British Columbians protect themselves and their physicians, ensuring they can continue to treat patients during the public health crisis, says Doctors of BC, a voluntary association of 14,000 doctors, residents and medical students.
“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,” says a statement from Doctors of BC President Dr. Kathleen Ross. “Family doctors know their patients best – they know their medical histories, their families, and understand their needs.”
Ross says the idea that patients should avoid making routine appointments during this time is a misconception, and people should still prioritize their health.
In order to find out what services their doctor or walk-in-clinic offers, patients should call the office, where medical staff book the appointment and provide information on preparing for the telephone call or video conference. Virtual appointments are covered by MSP.
Patients are advised not to arrive at any doctor’s office without calling ahead.
The provincial government has also put provisions in place allowing community pharmacists to renew or refill existing prescriptions.