With the COVID-19 pandemic showing signs of receding, people needing medical attention and care are hoping that they can have better access to healthcare services as the government-imposed restrictions are gradually lifted. Those that need regular treatments and checkups for their heart conditions are just a few among the many people who will benefit from this development.
Countries that are made up of various cities belonging to different states or regions like Australia, Canada, and the United States need to deal with varying guidelines when it comes to healthcare access during a lockdown. We’ll focus here on Australia’s COVID-19 crisis management measures and how people can get cardiologist services in cities like Canberra.
Setting an Appointment
With Canberra being the capital city of Australia and occupying part of ACT, it plays an important role in setting a precedent on how access to public and private healthcare institutions should be managed. The city is home to many well-known hospitals and clinics that provide quality healthcare services such as cardiovascular care. The city residents may have varying preferences when it comes to the best cardiologist Canberra located, but setting appointments still remains standard practice. With the implementation of physical distancing and limited accommodations in healthcare institutions, getting an early appointment is of utmost importance. Some cardiologists have clinics in different locations, so getting an appointment at the nearest possible hospital or clinic helps make access to heart care more convenient.
A good way of getting an appointment with a cardiologist is by getting a referral from your primary care physician. Having a referral from a fellow doctor helps get your appointment and medical records prepared and arranged faster. Your primary care physician will facilitate the provision of your medical records to the cardiologist. Your physician can also help you squeeze in an immediate appointment with a cardiologist if he or she deems it necessary to see a heart specialist as soon as possible.
While a referral seems to benefit new cardiology patients, it can also benefit patients who already have a regular consultation with a cardiologist. People often see their doctors or primary care physicians for non-cardiovascular health concerns. There can be symptoms that your doctor can detect in your heart such as atrial fibrillation or flutter, chest pain, breathlessness, heart murmurs, and palpitations, which will prompt them to refer you to a cardiologist. For those who have a history of heart disease, the discovery of symptoms connected to their heart conditions can be detected by a primary care physician even if the patient looks fine and is visiting for a health concern that is not cardiovascular. Your primary care doctor can immediately contact your current cardiologist or another heart health specialist if your cardiologist is unavailable. The referral form from your doctor can also prove useful as supporting documentation in the current lockdown situation where strict health and safety protocols are implemented.
Request for Home Health Service
Patients with heart disease often have weakened immune systems. Thus, there is a need for taking extra precautions, especially that there is an increased risk of infection due to the pandemic. The good thing about the medical services in Canberra is the availability of home medical doctors or after hours doctors. Setting appointments with your home doctor or cardiologist is still necessary as this can help them prepare the necessary medicines, medical equipment, and medical history information of the patients that they will visit. There are still some misconceptions that home doctors might head straight to your home from the hospital or clinic. It should be noted that doctors follow strict disinfection and sterilization protocols when they do home services for their patients. Home health service is advantageous for elderly patients and patients with limited mobility. This service may be a bit pricey, but many patients will think it is worth it when it comes to guaranteeing their safety.
For localities that still have travel restrictions imposed by their government units, a telemedical consultation with your cardiologist is another safe and convenient option. Many doctors are providing this type of service during the pre-pandemic days to serve patients who live far away and find it difficult to travel to their clinics. This telecommunication technology-based medical service is becoming even more important now that physical contact is restricted due to the pandemic. Patients can contact their clinics to set a telemedical consultation schedule with their doctors that will be done through Zoom, Skype, or other video-call apps. At the safety and comfort of the patients’ homes, they can freely and openly discuss health matters with their physicians. This is particularly important for patients with heart conditions, as they need regular monitoring, and a detailed description of what they are feeling can give valuable inputs for their cardiologists. Patients who have limited mobility and those that have weak immunity can benefit from this consultation that involves no contact and very physical effort.
Holter Monitoring and Device Check Schedules
If you currently have a cardiologist attending to you, securing documentation of your Holter monitoring and cardiac device checking schedules can help you get regular and continued cardiologist services even during a lockdown. Holter monitoring is an important procedure for recording the heart’s electrical activity over a period of time. The electrical activities in the presence or absence of heart disease symptoms are assessed by your cardiologist regularly. This means that you will need to regularly visit your cardiologist’s clinic to have the procedure performed.
Having a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator in you means the devices need regular checking and testing to ensure that the device is working properly and has sufficient battery power. These devices are important for maintaining the proper function of the heart and detecting and normalizing abnormal heart activities. Thus, having these life-saving devices also means you need to regularly visit your cardiologist’s clinic to ensure proper device function and to have your cardiologist advise you on how to properly take care of it.
Access to healthcare services is all the more important in the event of a pandemic like COVID-19. We know of the COVID-19 virulence, but it doesn’t mean we’ll have to fully close out access to medical services. There are also many other diseases and medical conditions such as heart disease that need immediate attention and care, which is why hospitals, clinics, and other medical institutions are considered as bastions in the fight against COVID-19. It’s not just the medical institutions in Canberra that are ramping up their services, but medical institutions around the world are also stepping up their efforts to overcome this pandemic.