This guide has a list of 5 solutions to try when you can’t see your doctor or healthcare provider in person.
Everyone has experienced the scary feeling of needing to see a doctor but being unable to do so. This can be for a number of reasons, including:
- No available appointments
- Staff training days
- Weather restrictions
- Lockdown restrictions
Naturally, it can lead to many people panicking and wondering what to do. This can be especially scary for elderly people who live alone and have no immediate family to help them. Don’t worry, though, as this guide has some excellent solutions for you.
As soon as you’re ready, dive into the tips below.
Speak to a Doctor Online
In the UK, you can now speak to an NHS GP online after registering an account. This is great, as it allows people access to a doctor whenever they’re in need of an urgent appointment. You don’t even need to leave your house, so there’s no need to worry about traveling.
Since 2020, thousands of healthcare providers – from public hospitals to private doctors – have started providing patients with online appointments. Usually, these appointments take place through video or audio calls. It’s just like a normal appointment with your GP, with the only difference being that you’re speaking to them through a smartphone or computer instead. This is commonly referred to as telehealth.
Go to a Walk-In Centre
Walk-in centers are usually available 24/7 in most major cities.
A walk-in center is a medical provider that accepts patients on a walk-in basis. You don’t need to book any appointments or make a phone. Instead, you simply walk through the doors, fill out a form at the reception desk, and wait for the doctor or nurse to call out your name. From there, you’ll be escorted to the GP’s room, where they will be able to examine you and sign any prescriptions that might be required.
Visit a Local Pharmacy
Within your local area, there should be at least one open pharmacy.
If so, you can walk in there and ask for general medical advice from the pharmacists. They will be able to provide you with any over-the-counter medicines that they deem necessary. In some cases, they can prescribe specific medications, too.
Google Your Symptoms
Sometimes, Google is your best friend when you can’t see your doctor.
Although Google can’t provide you with a 100 percent accurate diagnosis, it can give you general information and symptoms that you can self-diagnose.
For example, if you suspect you have tonsilitis, Google can tell you the main symptoms of tonsilitis as well as what you can do to treat it from home.
However, doctors and nurses generally recommend that you don’t use Google in serious circumstances, such as when you’re having difficulty breathing.
Wait Until an Appointment Becomes Available
If your symptoms are relatively mild and there’s no medical urgency, you might simply be able to wait until an appointment becomes available with your regular doctor. In-between times, if your symptoms worsen, then you can try any of the suggestions 1-4.