Have you wanted to see a doctor recently but couldn’t because of the COVID-19 crisis?

It’s a problem many of us have had to deal with lately. Most doctor offices are closed. Even if they were open, would you really want to sit inside, in a waiting room, with a bunch of other sick people hacking and moaning under their face masks? That trip to the doctor could end up being a bigger problem than whatever issue you were experiencing in the first place.

Your health and wellbeing are important, now more than ever

You’re not alone. The Toronto Star did some digging and calculated that hospital emergency rooms in Canada were experiencing a 44% drop in patient visits. A woman in Ottawa suffered a stroke but waited 12 hours before going to emergency. A man in B.C. had a heart attack and held off for three days before getting treatment. We’ve been asked to stay home and, outside from a couple of incidents such as in Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach and Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwood’s Park, we’ve followed health officials’ orders.

The problem is, if you’re suffering with a health issue, you can’t just wait things out and hope it goes away. If anything, the issue could get worse when left untreated. What some innovators in the health industry have done is to turn this problem into an opportunity. Known as “virtual care clinics,” patients can now see an experienced, licensed doctor and get the medical care they need online or over the phone, from the comfort and safety of home. Best of all, most appointments continue to be covered by the provincial health system – meaning the service is free.

In Ontario, the Rinomato Group of Companies (RGC) has partnered with Bloor Walk-In Clinic to provide a wide range of virtual care services covered by OHIP. Once a traditional walk-in clinic, the office extended its care range by moving services online when the state of emergency was announced. Getting a virtual appointment is easy. Patients simply enter their name and email on the clinic’s website or call the booking line and Bloor Walk-In Clinic will arrange a doctor’s appointment in as soon as a couple of hours.

You can now see a doctor from the comfort of home

Necessity is the mother of invention, and you’d be surprised how many health issues can be addressed by phone or video conferencing. Bloor Walk-In’s virtual care services include general health concerns, urgent medical advice, COVID-19 related consultations and concerns, mental health support, skin issues, chronic disease management (such as diabetes and hypertension), prescriptions, requisitions and referrals.

It’s been said that because of COVID-19, we’ll never return to the old normal. And while there will be a day when we can see a doctor in person again (yearly physical, anyone?), doctor’s offices like Bloor Walk-In Clinic will likely continue to offer virtual care in addition to traditional walk-in services for good, making some of those inconvenient trips to the doctor’s office a welcome thing of the past.