November 24, 2021

Don’t overlook cardiovascular disease and diabetes; there are groups to help.

While people should not relax their guard in the face of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), two groups urged the public on Tuesday to be aware of non-Covid cases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and hypertension.

Representatives of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI) and the Philippine Alliance for Patient Organization (PAPO) noted in a virtual press conference that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are among the leading causes of death in the country.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, patients must consult with their doctors, they said.

Leyden Florido, a PAPO representative, stated that some diabetics are afraid to seek medical advice because they are afraid of contracting Covid-19.

Some people are unsure when to seek consultations, while others rely on online resources. Others, she claims, have limited access to or knowledge of technology.

With this, PHAPI launched the “Kumusta Doc” initiative, which aims to raise awareness about NCD risk factors, signs, and symptoms. In addition, the initiative aims to encourage patients to communicate with their doctors both during and after the pandemic.

“(PHAPI) doctors and facilities had to adapt and find new ways to continue serving patients,” PHAPI Corporate Secretary Richard Lirio said.

He claims that their hospitals have separate waiting areas for non-Covid-19 patients. Prior to entering hospitals, they also require screening for Covid-19 symptoms and the completion of declaration forms.

Sanitation is performed on high-contact areas such as door handles, railings, and benches on a regular basis. They advise patients to make an appointment with their doctors before going to the hospital or clinic in order to avoid overcrowding and maintain physical distance.

While telehealth is expected to grow in popularity, pulmonologist Patrick Moral believes that medical consultations will continue to take place in hospitals.

He stated that telehealth has been extremely beneficial to people who previously had no access to medical care.

Moral also emphasized the importance of health literacy and cautioned patients against misinformation.

“Not everything you see on the internet has been vetted or reviewed,” he explained.

Cardiologist Helen Ong-Garcia also stated that telemedicine will most likely continue, urging patients to live a healthy lifestyle in order to manage NCDs.

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