Dr. Gary Ernest in his clinic.

Don’t put your health on the back burner

Dear editor:

Doctors are worried about your health.

In the wake of COVID-19, waiting rooms across Nova Scotia are empty. Patients are not seeing their doctors for routine appointments.

You might think we’re not providing routine health-care during the pandemic, but we are. In fact, we’ve expanded our offerings so we can now do appointments several ways: in person, by phone and using video.

If you need to see your doctor in person, you can do so safely. Doctors have measures in place at their offices and clinics to keep patients safe during this time. For example: clinics are being meticulously cleaned, surfaces are wiped down between patients, waiting room chairs are spaced out, and doctors are wearing masks. You can also choose to wear a cloth mask in addition to washing your hands and maintaining physical distancing as you would when you go to the grocery store.

Don’t put your health on the back burner. If you’ve been delaying or cancelling appointments, you may be putting your health at risk. Managing chronic illness such as diabetes, COPD and heart disease requires timely, routine care. We do not want your condition to worsen, leading to an emergency visit or a hospital stay. You must make your health a priority during the pandemic.

I want to reassure Nova Scotians that your doctors are here for you throughout this unsettling time. We will work hard to care for you, whether you have COVID-19 or some other health concern.

One last thing: if you have scheduled a phone appointment, your doctor may use a blocked number to call you. This is to protect their privacy. So, if you receive a call from a blocked number, please answer it. It could be your doctor calling.

Take care, stay safe and see your doctor.

Dr. Gary Ernest
President, Doctors Nova Scotia


Barb Johnson
Senior communications advisor