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Doctors are recommending patients with chronic illnesses to keep their routine checkups

Posted at 7:20 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 21:47:24-04

BOISE — Since COVID-19 doctors and healthcare providers have seen a drop in their patient's routine checkups, and it's harder for people with chronic illnesses to get in to see their doctors. But, they recommend anyone with a chronic condition to not put off care any longer before it gets any worse.

"Any chronic medical problems you have, and any new medical problems you're developing--please seek care. Putting that off for too long is as risky, if not riskier, than the coronavirus depending on the condition," said Chief Medical Officer at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Dr. Ryan Heyborne.

Dr. Heyborne recommends making an appointment with your doctor immediately before it leads to a more significant medical issue, something he said is happening more often now.

"People who may have not gotten care for a period of time and now a lot of their chronic medical problems heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure things like that--are really acting up, and so I really encourage people to try to get in to see your doctor," said Heyborne.

There might be limited numbers of appointments available, but it's essential not to let new or existing conditions get worse by doing nothing. Heyborne said that Urgent Cares and ER's could treat you too.

"All those places are taking extra measures to make you safe," said Heyborne.

As Idaho starts to reopen its businesses, that does not mean there aren't any risks. It's important to take proper precautions before heading out.

"I still recommend people limit what they do, limit where they go, practice good handwashing, wear masks out in public, continue to socially distance," said Heyborne.