Do not delay your healthcare - an important message from the health care community

During the COVID-19 pandemic, providers far and wide are sharing the same message: “Don’t delay your health care,” urging people not to put off obtaining health care out of fear of contracting the virus. We’re passing on these important messages from the OneCare community of providers who want you to stay healthy, are taking extensive measures to ensure patient safety, and creating new ways to make health care safe and easily accessible, including by offering appointments by telephone and video.

Postponing health care can have numerous complications: minor issues can become more complex to treat, and issues from chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, or high blood pressure can become more difficult to manage. On top of physical health issues, providers are also concerned about individuals who have been isolated and may be at risk of depression, anxiety, or an exacerbation of other mental health issues.

Please keep the lines of communication open with your provider. Don’t put off routine checkups important to your health, and always go to urgent care or the ER for emergency health issues, such as symptoms of a heart attack or a stroke.

By now, it’s well known that staying home saves lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is an important caveat: When you need medical care, you shouldn’t suffer in silence. I’ve heard from providers across our health system who are concerned that many people are delaying necessary medical treatment. We worry about the impact this could have on our neighbors and communities. Our emergency departments and our urgent, specialty and primary care clinics are ready to care for you – whether via video and telephone visits or in-person visits when needed. Please make your safety, and your health, a priority.

John R. Brumsted, MD

President and CEO, The UVM Health Network

Your providers are  eager to help with your healthcare concerns. If you need to be seen in-person, you can ask about the precautions—disinfecting, scheduling, and patient flow— that they are taking to ensure your safety.

Many people seem to be waiting for someone to blow a whistle and suddenly we will be able to all go back to seeking medical care in person. For those with chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and lung disease, we suggest a check-in visit with your primary care provider to be sure that your numbers and symptoms are under good control. When everyone suddenly wants an in person visit, it may be hard to be the first in line. It is also more important than ever to be able to communicate with your doctors about equipment related to your health – for example if batteries for a blood pressure monitor need to be changed, or you need a new device or testing supplies, please call the office and work at getting your home monitoring devices in tip-top shape.

Norman Ward, MD

Chief Medical Officer, OneCare Vermont

Don't Delay Your Care. Video or telephone visits are proving to be a good alternative for in-person visits. Your provider’s office is ready, willing and able to support you through telehealth.

During this COVID-19 pandemic when you are trying to stay safe and healthy, it is important to remember that your primary care provider is available to help you with that. Providers are ready and eager to help you with your health care concerns. You can still call the office with questions and concerns, receive advice and reassurance, schedule a telemedicine or office visit, or obtain a referral. We do not want to see people delaying care due to their fear of the virus, only to present later with a much more serious or complicated illness.

Susan Shane, MD

Medical Director, OneCare Vermont; Family Medicine, University of Vermont Medical Center

Don't Delay Your Care. For those who live alone, feelings of isolation may be strong. Video or telephone visits are good ways to receive counseling and emotional support in place of in-person visits

Resources and messaging from our partners

For more information:

Please contact Public Affairs at OneCare Vermont. | 802-847-1346

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