How To Have An Annual Physical Check-Up During A Pandemic
It's APE season, but with many people staying at home, offices aren't able to conduct this. Here’s how you can schedule your own general check-ups at home and in clinics near you!
Every year, we have that one full or half day, lined up in the office for a prick of blood, some weighing, and eye check-up. Many usually look forward to this because it’s a break from the humdrum of work, and it’s also nice to know how well your body is holding up for the year.
You know what these are called: The APE. Annual physical check-ups are important to determine the general status of your health. With a pandemic in full swing, making sure our body is in top shape to fight any virus becomes even more essential. But since we’re all working from home, most offices now aren’t able to schedule these annual check-ups.
It’s also very timely that the House Committee on Health approved a bill in August that will let Filipinos avail a free annual medical checkup in any government hospital or health care institution. The bill is still currently subject to plenary deliberations for approval of the whole lower chamber.
While we wait for that bill or the resumption of office APEs, you may want to opt to undergo an annual physical exam yourself—and there are many ways you can go about it.
Visit your nearest hospital or laboratory
Most hospitals and laboratories have their own Annual Physical Exam packages, and they usually go for around P1,000 to P3,000. Most hospitals will only conduct APEs if it’s required for work or recommended by your personal doctor. However, if you just want to make sure your body and your family is healthy and well amidst the pandemic, there are still clinics who offer these annual check-up packages.
One of them is My Health Clinic, which you can buy for yourself or for your loved ones as a gift. This annual check-up package includes P5,000 worth of medical services for just P2,755, with complimentary breakfast and one hour massage. The services covered by this package include: Fasting Blood Sugar and Lipid Profile (both require 10-hour fasting), Creatinine Blood Uric Acid,12-Lead Electrocardiogram, Chest X-Ray, and Consultation with a Primary Care Physician (IM or FM).
You can avail this annual check-up package by My Health Clinic here, and can be redeemed only until December 31, 2020 (redemption beyond this date may result in additional charges).
If you want the comfort and security of your own room when you go through the check-up, St. Luke’s Medical Center also has a Wellness Center located in Bonifacio Global City where you can book a regular private room for your executive check-up for P13,284, or a regular suite for P24,503. This basic health screening package includes Creatinine, ALT, Lipid Profile, FBS, Uric Acid, and Ophthalmologic Examination (Visual Acuity, Fundoscopy).
They also have specialized screening packages for those with risks for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, diabetes, and geriatric patients.
Purchasing and booking these check-ups can be done online via St. Luke’s E-health portal.
Home service check-ups
If you’re still not keen on going to the hospitals because of the continuing rise of Covid-19 cases, then you can book for laboratory services and check-ups at home.
Hi-Precision Diagnostics offers home service appointments for all laboratory tests, Urinalysis, Stool Analysis, Drug Screening Test, Medical X-Ray, Ultrasound, 2D-Echo With Doppler, and ECG. To schedule an appointment, call 8741-7777 and press 2 for home service.
For those near Makati, medical laboratory FortMED Medical Clinics also offers home service, where you can avail of Blood Chemistry, Blood Typing, Fecalysis, Urinalysis, Immunology, Vaccination, ECG, and Spot Visit. You can schedule a home appointment Mondays to Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling their hotline 8897-9111.
LCM Diagnostics, a medical laboratory in Metro Manila that has been operating for more than 35 years now, is also offering home service for their laboratory packages. The Wellness Package, for example, is a good deal that includes 32 tests for the heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, thyroid gland, bones, and minerals. It covers a lot more than your usual APE, but is currently available for 40% off so that’s a good deal of savings. For home appointments, send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them via their hotlines: +63(2) 8843-5836, 8893-9273, 8844-6828, 8893-2974, and 0915-1451130.
Another option is to book via the Aide mobile app. Aide has been providing home care medical services since 2016 and to date remains one of the most reliable and trustworthy home health care platforms in the greater Metro Manila area. You can easily book a basic healthy package through their app for P3,250, which will already cover 14 laboratory tests: CBC with Platelet Count, Fasting Blood Sugar, BUN, Creatinine, Uric Acid, Total Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, Triglycerides, SGPT, SGOT, Alkaline Phosphatase, Sodium, Potassium, and Complete Urinalysis. Payment can be done via the app, as well, using credit card or GCash.
DIY health tests at home
If you don’t necessarily want to book a check-up there are easy health checks you can do at home which can make all the difference.
Blood pressure monitor
If you have high risks for high blood or low blood pressure, it’s essential to keep a blood pressure monitor at home. Just remember that certain factors can easily affect your blood pressure like stress, smoking, caffeine, cold temperatures, and talking—so sit down calmly and try to avoid these things when you’re measuring.
While you’re used to seeing manual blood pressure monitors being used in hospitals and clinics, you can check out this automatic blood pressure monitor that you can just slip on your wrist for easier blood pressure measurement. Shop here.
There’s a reason why you need to weigh every time you go for a check-up. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a good gauge of whether your weight is a good proportion to your height. Being overweight can lead to a variety of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases, so it’s important to watch your weight for your health.
To calculate your
BMI, you will need to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters
squared. Shop here.
Cholesterol, uric, and blood sugar test kit
Did you know you can now test your own cholesterol, glucose and uric acid at home? Check out this EasyTouch GCU 3-in-1 kit where you can test these three variables with just one prick on the tip of your finger.
According the US Food and Drug Administration, at-home tests vary in accuracy from brand to brand, but generally, they are good precautionary measures to have at home. These tests, however, should be considered approximations and should not replace a laboratory test conducted by your health care provider. Shop here.