Doctor’s warning as future plans put on hold
FOR a decade Hashim Abdeen worked towards specialising as a rheumatologist.
Now he and junior doctors across Queensland face being moved to frontline COVID-19 care and having their long-term career goals up in the air.
For Dr Abdeen, helping to save people on the front lines of a pandemic is hardly something to complain about.
But he worries that for some young doctors, putting their future on ice while dealing with such a virus could be challenging.
"In the scheme of a global pandemic it's not a huge problem," he said.
"But it's the type of thing that impacts people's mental health. A lot of people are quite stressed out about the disease as well as the workload when the peak hits us."
Dr Abdeen expects to be moved from rheumatology, treating conditions such as arthritis, to caring for COVID-19 patients when the time arises.
At the start of the pandemic, warm climates such as Townsville were considered coronavirus safe havens. But there have been more than 20 cases in the Townsville hospital area.
"This is not a virus that is just going to stay in metropolitan areas," he said.
"We need to make sure resourcing is available for doctors in regional as well as rural and remote hospitals.
"Those are the places that simply won't have the capacity to deal with a mass influx of patients."
Originally published as Doctor's warning as future plans put on hold