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4 reasons you should not delay healthcare during COVID-19

COVID · Feb 1, 2021

In the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are continuing to delay many of their “normal” activities, including social gatherings, milestone occasions and travel — and for good reason. But it’s crucial that you stay connected to healthcare, and do not delay taking care of your health. 

Much of our work as health professionals is providing patients with the care they may have postponed during the first wave of the pandemic. And yet, we are once again seeing people delay important care amidst this new wave. 

Here are four reasons you should not delay caring for your health during COVID-19:

1) Proactive care is important

Even if you are feeling healthy, it’s important to check in with your health professional about your preventive care. For everyone, this should include a discussion about your health priorities and goals, and about preventive measures according to your age and other risk factors. It may include immunizations, cancer screening (e.g. Pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies) and bloodwork. 

These proactive visits also help us learn about your medical history and understand your values, so that when you don’t feel well, you can visit a health professional who knows you.

Amidst our new wave of COVID-19, some clinics may be prioritizing more urgent visits, so contact your health professional to learn more. TELUS Health Care Centres remain open nationwide, so please do not delay booking your head-to-toe Preventive Health Assessment during the pandemic.

2) Reactive care is important

When you get sick, it is just as important to seek care. If you are worried that it is an emergency, always go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1. Otherwise, try to connect with a health professional who knows you well, such as your family doctor, if you have one. They will understand your medical history, context and values, and speaking with a familiar person may be most comfortable for you.

Most clinics are offering a combination of virtual and in-person visits, depending on what is most appropriate for your concern. They are also taking extra care to make sure you are safe during the visit – including distancing, masking and spacing out appointments. If you do not have a family doctor, or if you or your family members can't wait for an appointment, virtual care is available 24/7/365 — and the notes from your virtual appointment can be shared with your family doctor with your consent.

3) You should discuss the COVID-19 vaccine

There is a lot of misinformation out there about COVID-19 preventive measures and vaccines, so it’s important to have this discussion with a trusted health professional who can answer your questions.

4) Your health isn’t just physical

Not all dimensions of health are physical. It is imperative that we care for each other in the many domains of your health, including psychological, financial, social and environmental — and get the right support when you need it. Your trusted health professional can be a key ally in your total health.

To connect instantly with a health professional to discuss any non-urgent physical or mental health concern, start a virtual care consult.

Authored by:
Dr. Dominik Nowak
Physician lead for the TELUS Medical Advisory Council