In taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously, we all know that we must visit a doctor if we are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever.
Since Singapore enjoys a high clinic density, it would seem easy for patients to hop from one clinic to another. Although there may be exceptional reasons for doing so, doctor hopping is socially irresponsible behaviour.
Recently, the Ministry of Health (MOH) found that a notable portion of COVID-19 cases had visited more than one general practitioner (GP) clinic before being positively diagnosed. That increases the chances of the virus spreading within the community.
As Nuffield Dental is committed to protecting our patients, staff and their families during this trying time, we have compiled 3 key reasons as to why everyone should avoid doctor hopping during this time:
Socially Irresponsible Behaviour
When feeling unwell, it is advisable to minimise any form of social contact. By doctor hopping, there is a chance of spreading the virus to other patients at the clinic. This poses a considerable risk to the community, as often, other patients visiting the clinics may already have a weakened immune system making them vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Impedes Contact Tracing Efforts
When a COVID-19 case is confirmed, MOH will carry out contact tracing to assess close contacts. If a patient has doctor-hopped, it delays their efforts to ring-fence known clusters. This hinders MOH’s ability to get in touch with close contacts that may have been infected.
Doctor’s Inability to Track the Progress of Your Illness
When you doctor-hop, the doctor may not be able to track how your illness has progressed over time. This may delay the doctor’s ability to diagnose the presence of COVID-19.
We should avoid acting in self-interest, but rather, be mindful of the ones around us. By staying socially responsible, cooperative and resilient, we can flatten the curve especially when we appear to be far from the end of this pandemic. Let us overcome this adversity together as one.