British Columbia

Despite COVID-19, 'it is safe to go to the hospital,' B.C.'s top doctor says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is urging British Columbians not to ignore urgent medical matters or skip scheduled vaccinations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seek help for serious medical issues, advises provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry

Dr. Bonnie Henry says British Columbians shouldn't be afraid to visit the hospital or call 911 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured is a recent health care worker appreciation event outside St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is urging British Columbians not to ignore urgent medical matters or skip scheduled vaccinations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At her daily briefing on Wednesday, Henry said she has heard concerns that some people are afraid to visit the hospital for problems that aren't related to the novel coronavirus.

"It is safe to go to the hospital," Henry said. "I want to reassure people that if you have diagnostic tests that have been booked, that you've been waiting for, it is safe to go for those. It is safe to call 911. If you need that urgent medical care, do not hesitate to call for help."

She said that while COVID-19 is the most pressing issue facing the health-care system, there is still a need for medical services that protect people and the community.

That includes childhood immunizations which Henry said should continue on their regular schedule.

"Please be reassured that these services are still available and it is still incredibly important to protect our children from the other infectious diseases that we know can spread in our communities," Henry said.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca

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