How local doctors are safeguarding their staff and patients from infection

Health care professionals aren’t immune to infection so they’re putting safety protocols into place

Don’t unwittingly put the task force upon which we are most reliant woefully at risk. Familiarise yourself with your health-care provider’s coronavirus safety protocols.
Image: 123RF/Mark Adams

Cough? Fever? A forbidding sense that all is not right? Given that the coronavirus has officially touched down on South African soil, it makes sense that you would want to revert to your local health-care provider.

But doctors and nurses aren’t immune to infection simply by virtue of the fact that they treat sickness. Given that they are our first port of call when we aren’t well, at this point they are particularly vulnerable to exposure.

If you fail to familiarise yourself with the safety protocols that GPs, hospitals, and even dentists are starting to encourage among their patients, you could unwittingly put the task force upon which we are most reliant woefully at risk.

One of the health-care professionals who has put such protocols into place is Dr Michael Setzer, a GP practising in Norwood, Johannesburg. He sent out a detailed missive to his patients last week, urging them to alert his staff before coming in to be screened for Covid-19.

It stated that once you’ve been assigned an appointment — and after you’ve washed your hands and covered “your mouth and nose with a mask or a facecloth” — you can leave the confines of your house. However, once you arrive at Setzer’s rooms you must remain in your car, message the staff and await further instructions.

This is because Setzer’s staff want to help you in making your way to an isolation room without, for instance, touching door handles or ringing the bell.

Setzer advised his clients that the doctor on call will then “examine you wearing gloves, a mask and an apron to prevent any spread”, in the course of which you will be swabbed to test for infection.

Read more of the story on TimesLIVE




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