SAQ: How can vulnerable communities still access their medical,daily care?

‘There are doctors that are still here to see them and will do so in the safest way possible’

SAN ANTONIO – Doctor Lyssa Ochoa is a vascular surgeon at a South Side clinic. She works with some of the communities that are most vulnerable to COVID-19 including those with diabetes and the elderly.

One thing she’s noticed is how some patients are foregoing doctor visits or daily care out of fear of exposure to the virus. While many doctors are offering telemedicine now, not everyone has access to it.

RELATED: Councilwomen say lack of means and access may be part of reason for lower number of COVID-19 cases on the South Side

Map: San Antonio COVID-19 cases by ZIP code

“I’ve run into some hurdle when we try to do telemedicine, for example some of my patients have flip phones so they can’t get on video with their flip phones. Or they have pre-paid phones that don’t have enough minutes to be able to video chat. And some of them just don’t have the social media skills to be able to do that,” Dr. Ochoa said.

She says one thing she and her clinics try to do is tailor communication to the patients’ needs, like utilizing phone calls, nursing home staff and more.

If you or your loved one has a regularly-scheduled doctor visit or needs to see a specialist, ask the doctors what the options are to keep the appointment while staying safe from COVID-19 exposure, rather than just out-right canceling.

Find more answers and ask your own questions on our SAQ page. Watch anchor Steve Spriester ask local leaders your questions weeknights at 6 p.m. on KSAT12 and 9 p.m. on KSAT-TV and KSAT.com. You can also sign up for our free SAQ newsletter to get answers to the most common questions in your inbox.

About the Authors: