Interlake-Eastern physicians encourage people to access health care
Physicians practicing in Interlake-Eastern RHA are reminding residents to seek medical attention when it is required. This is in response to noticeable declines in the number of people attending clinics and emergency rooms for care since COVID-19 arrived in Manitoba.
“We are there for our patients,” says Dr. Ian Alexander, family physician at Selkirk Medical Associates and president of the Manitoba College of Family Physicians. “The physician offices remain open for care. Call your primary care office so we can determine the best way to accommodate your medical needs.”
Residents should call ahead for an appointment at a primary health-care facility and they will be advised of any changes in how appointments are being handled at that clinic. Some care may be available over the phone or through video conference depending on patients’ care needs.
When patients who have ongoing health concerns are not receiving regular follow-up by a care provider, unnecessary health complications can result. Even though Manitoba health-care workers are dealing with a pandemic, they are available to care for regional residents and they need to be accessed. That help extends to everything from prescriptions and ongoing chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, blood pressure issues and heart disease, to injuries and other illnesses. Regular visits to a care provider ensure routine health-care concerns can be addressed before they become urgent. Safeguards such as meticulous cleaning of items patients may come in contact with at the office, such as chairs and examining equipment, have been put in place in clinics.
The same measures of cleaning and distancing are in place in hospitals as well. If you have a condition for which emergent or urgent care is needed, access that care immediately. It’s important to act on urgent health care issues as well according to Dr. Ian Burron, emergency medicine lead and regional physician COVID-19 coordinator for Interlake-Eastern RHA.
“We don’t want people to put off emergency situations like abdominal or chest pain because they fear a risk of COVID-19,” Dr. Burron says. “We’re absolutely open for emergency situations. Health-care facilities are safe places and health-care providers will ensure every precaution is taken while providing care.”
Anyone experiencing a health-care emergency is encouraged to dial 911 or their local 10-digit emergency number.
According to Dr. Myron Thiessen, IERHA’s chief medical officer and vice president of medical services, not addressing health care issues when they arise can have long lasting effects on people’s health.
“Not taking care of your diabetes or blood pressure, for example, can lead to a deterioration of your health and perhaps a detriment to your wellbeing in the long run,” Thiessen says. “Do not put off managing your health because we are in the midst of a pandemic.”
If they have one, patients are encouraged to wear a face mask when attending a health-care facility for care.