As Pennsylvania reopens, doctors say now is a good time to focus on health

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) One of the things that’s taken a backseat for many of us during the coronavirus crisis is our personal health. Doctor and dentist offices were either closed or limited to emergencies.

But now, they are welcoming back patients as stay-at-home restrictions ease. Perhaps it’s a checkup or even elective surgery that you had to postpone, but experts say you shouldn’t wait any longer.

Eyewitness News spoke with a medical doctor today about everything from scheduling your appointment to low-cost healthcare options.

While many of us are practicing CDC-recommended social distancing, wearing face masks, and frequently washing our hands, we may have ignored another important health factor: seeing our doctor or dentist.

“I know how many of my patients have fallen behind on routine physicals and seeing their specialist. They can’t get to the cardiologist. We know children are falling behind on critical vaccines,” said Holly Phillips, MD, an Internal Medicine Physician.

Phillips says with pandemic restrictions easing now is the time to make your medical or dental appointment.

“Yes, we are reopening but we are not reopening because the virus is gone. The virus is still very, very much with us.”

With a COVID-19 vaccine at least months from being available, be prepared to ask some important questions when you make your doctor or dentist appointment.

“What social distancing measures does the office have in place? Will you be allowed to wait in the lobby? Or like some offices, do you wait outside and they text you when it’s your turn? Should you come in a few minutes early? Or anything else you need to know,” said Dr. Phillips.

She acknowledges that financial obstacles may be preventing many from seeking proper medical and dental care. She says, one online resource that may prove valuable is RXSaver.

“We have information on low cost insurance options. Resources for primary care, dental care, vision care, mental health care which is also very critical during this time.”

She says it may also help cut prescription costs.

“You just enter the name of your medication and your ZIP Code and you can find the lowest retail prices of pharmacies near you.”

In the meantime, Dr. Phillips says if you are feeling sick or if you know you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, be very transparent with your doctor or dentist to properly plan your appointment.

To check out RXSaver, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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