Worried about your health?
Contact your Doctor


June 08, 2020
 

There are several reasons why those who are experiencing health concerns may be choosing not to reach out to their doctor:
 

  • they may be worried about increased exposure to coronavirus and increased risk of infection
  • they may not want to pose an extra ‘burden’ on health services which are already under huge pressure
  • they may be unsure whether local government restrictions allow them to access hospital and doctor services

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and confinement, your doctor and local medical facilities continue to offer medical assistance for non-COVID related conditions. 

The pandemic, and the need for strict social distancing, have had a major impact on the way in which doctors consult with their patients. Teleconsultations have increased during the pandemic as a way for doctors to consult with patients without seeing them in person. Via teleconsultation, your doctor can evaluate a variety of health conditions, discuss results from an X-ray or MRI or complete routine check-ups for chronic conditions.

For some consultations it may still be necessary to see your doctor in person. In these instances, and dependant on local government guidelines, your doctor may visit you in your home or request you visit a medical facility.

Medical facilities are taking all the necessary precautions to protect their patients and staff from contracting coronavirus, while continuing to provide health services. Each facility will have their own procedures in place, in compliance with local government guidelines, to reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus. These may include;

 

  • temperature checks on arrival
  • recent medical history screening
  • screening on exposure to coronavirus
  • social distancing
  • regular sanitisation of all areas, equipment and surfaces
  • use of personal protective equipment
  • separation of ‘COVID’ and ‘non-COVID’ patient
  • treatment options which require less frequent visits to medical facilities, for example;

    >    increase the dose of chemotherapy per session where possible
    >    depot medicines to prolong effect

If you are required to attend a medical facility in person, please follow your local authorities’ and the medical facilities recommendations to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Continue to limit your risk of contracting, or spreading, the virus by;

 

  • practicing social distancing
  • following good hand hygiene
  • practicing good cough etiquette
  • using hand sanitiser where available
  • wearing a face mask
It is essential that if you or a member of your family are experiencing any health concerns, including but not limited to those described below, you should contact your doctor or local emergency services without delay.

Heart attack

Possible symptoms may include chest pain/tightness/pressure that can spread to neck, jaw and arms, nausea, shortness of breath, cold sweat, dizziness.

Stroke

Possible symptoms may include sudden numbness or weakness in face, arm or leg in one side of the body, sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, sudden visual disturbances in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, loss of balance.

For heart attack and stroke, any delay in diagnosis and treatment can have a significant detrimental impact on recovery, and in some cases may result in death.

Abdominal pain

Sudden and intense abdominal pain with or without nausea or vomiting and with or without fever.

Fever

High fever with general malaise and fatigue that does not improve with antipyretic medication 

Continuity of care is important, especially for a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and dyslipidaemia. Optimal management of these conditions will reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.

Continue to consult with your doctor for management of these conditions, or any chronic condition you have been diagnosed with, especially if you have recently been diagnosed or your medication has been changed.

 

Cancer

Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms that may be related to a yet undiagnosed cancer. Symptoms may include:

 

  • blood in sputum, stools or urine
  • thickening or lump in the breast (or other parts of the body)
  • changes in size, shape or colour of a mole
  • change in bowel habits
  • weight loss with no apparent reason
  • night sweats
  • fatigue

If you have concerns about possible symptoms of cancer, it is vital that you reach out to your doctor immediately. Early diagnoses and treatment are crucial to ensure the best possible prognosis.

 

On-going cancer

Continue to consult with your doctor if you are currently undergoing cancer treatment. To assure the best outcome of any treatment you may be receiving for cancer, you must adhere to the medical plan and continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

 

Mental health

If you are following a treatment for any mental health condition, it is important to continue regular check-ups with your doctor. The COVID-19 pandemic and the guidelines in place to reduce infection spread, have created stressors that may have a detrimental impact on your mental health.

Reach out to your doctor if you are experiencing:

 

  • elevated rates of stress or anxiety
  • loneliness
  • depression
  • harmful alcohol and drug use
  • self-harm
  • suicidal behaviour

Allianz Care members can also avail of their Assistance Programme, designed to help with all of life’s questions, issues and concerns, the service is delivered by professionals who provide multilingual and confidential support for mental, financial, physical and emotional wellbeing. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

As new cases of COVID-19 reduce around the globe, the health services capacity in many countries is increasing. Some medical facilities are resuming procedures that were postponed at the beginning of the pandemic. If you had an elective treatment postponed, please contact your provider for an update on your procedure and ask them to reschedule at their earliest convenience.

During these unprecedented times, Allianz Care continue to cover all the benefits stated in your Table of Benefits, and in some cases, while this pandemic is active, we may also cover benefits that may not be stated in your Table of Benefits such as telehealth consultations (including telehealth physiotherapy or psychotherapy).

Any customers concerned about COVID-19 can contact Medi24, our 24/7 medical advice line. Staffed by an experienced medical team, Medi-24 provides advice in English, German, French and Italian on +44 (0) 208 416 3929. 

 

Remember if you are experiencing any health concern (not limited to those outlined above) for which you would have sought medical attention prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you still need to do so. Do not wait until the pandemic is over, reach out to your doctor today.