Stories of Living with COVID-19 from Around the World

From Jamaica

So far, we have been able to continue in clinic calls. Clients are asked to register and drop off patients for later pick up or wait in their cars until called. We have an open verandah waiting area so can accommodate up to 2 waiting clients and still observe social distancing.

Of course, we are wearing masks, gloves, using our own leashes and increased sanitisation of surfaces.

We also continue our house calls but do not enter the homes. We do our work outside.

So far only a section of the country is under complete lock down. The rest is on curfew after 9pm and work-at-home or shift where possible. As vets we can move around, but we are anticipating further restrictions since our numbers have now started a steep increase. That is why I’m interested in how we can explore telemedicine. 

That is my Small Animal practice here in Jamaica

From the United Kingdom

We are now heavily reliant on telemedicine having never done any before. We are triaging calls and then making appointment slots for a vet to call and advising all owners that there will be a consultation fee. They then collect medicines from one of our sites – calling on arrival so they get put outside for collection – and then paying by credit card.

A long as we have advised re fees prior, they are fine but definitely are not OK if not pre advised.  It takes so much longer and as we say we are still legally responsible for our decisions

We are using the Zoom app or more recently finding Whereby better one to one. We are also doing over the phone consults for the less techno clients as well and some with images being sent in by email but there is a difficult lag to receiving the photos this way. If on tele consult we feel they have to be seen, then there are appointments at the surgery, but we go outside and take the animal off the owner and conduct discussions over the phone. We don’t charge extra if they get triaged down to the surgery. This is more accepting to clients who first got very stroppy they may have to pay twice if we couldn’t sort it online.

Just prior to this lockdown I did get approached about an online set up being established by worldwide veterinary services which includes a payment platform but I haven’t had the chance to pursue it and we were pushed towards Whereby by the corporate who took us over last year. And it is currently working well other than the increased time factor.