Letter to the Editor

A failing health system

To the editor: So I have had a running nose, nasty cough and fever for about a week and missed several days from work this week. My wife’s flight back from Oklahoma City a week ago Sunday went through Seattle and arrived late, and she was forced to spend the night in Seattle and got home late the next day. I started getting sick on Thursday night. I went to the Tanana Valley Clinic First Care clinic today, March 12, because they told me that they would give me a coronavirus test over the phone based on my symptoms. When I arrived at the clinic, I put on a face mask, but I was surprised because they took no extra precautions that I might have coronavirus.

My fever has been coming and going and my body temp was near normal at the clinic. My flu test was negative. A chest X-ray confirmed that I have pneumonia, but the doctor said that I could not get a coronavirus test, because my pneumonia was not severe enough to admit me to the hospital. They prescribed me with a course of antibiotics and told me to come back in two days if I get worse.

If being so sick you have to get admitted to the hospital is the criteria to perform a test in the state of Alaska, it’s no wonder there are no positive tests in Alaska yet. The doctor said that he would have to fight with the state of Alaska virologist to get me a coronavirus test if I was not being admitted to the hospital.

Very disappointing to see the health care system failing in real time!

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