Cardiologists and nephrologists are called in to help in Covid services to New South Wales as the hospital system braces for an increase in patient numbers.
This has a impact on non-Covid health services, according to doctors, creating severe labor shortages with a reallocation of staff from other specialties and services being claimed for case increases .
Anthony Byrne, thoracic and respiratory doctor at St Vincent 's Sydney , stated thatdoctors were withdrawn from clinics, where they see and diagnose patients with non-Covid issues, to work on Covid.
"This is a message important, "said Byrne." We are already seeing in our hospitals that there are physicians who are not respiratory or intensive care physicians dealing with Covid patients. So we appeal to our colleagues, these are cardiologists, they're nephrologists, and they really come to help us.
"Why? Because we need help. There aren't enough of us. "
Byrne said this was " very unusual "given the highly specialized nature of medicine.
"I mean you train for years to specialize and you can just do stents and coronary arteries, or even in respiratory medicine you can simplement have asthma, and then all of a sudden we need your help on Covid, "Byrne said. “We now have neurologists looking after Covid patients and cardiologists. Of course, we all do general medical training to be a doctor, so that's fine, but a lot of people haven't done medicine other than their specialty for many years. "
The ripple effect was that patients requiring non-Covid health care were also affected.
WADA Federal President Dr Omar Khorshid told the ABC on Wednesday, when it was "very reasonable " for NSW to have a plan to reopen, "our concern is the timing of this opening, which could coincide with the peak in hospitalizations in NSW and further devastate the healthcare industry ".
" You won't probably don't want to have a seizureheart disease or being diagnosed with cancer in October in New South Wales, and we really need to do everything we can to prevent our hospitals from suffering from opening too early, ”he said.
The Dr Byrne agreed.
"I saw another patient today and he just received a new diagnosis of suspected lung cancer, but we have to do another procedure to really confirm it, "Byrne said.
" Now it 's really hard to do this procedure because the schedules and operating room staff are not available, and it takes longer to try and get this patient for a pprocedure to diagnose their lung cancer. It is a matter of manpower. Yes, the modeling says there is more capacity in terms of space, but you also need staff.
"A research that is Melbourne exit after second wave last year shows staff are so tired some of them don't want to go back to work kforce. We're worried about it here. It's not like we've reached the top yet. It will still be with us for months, and think of all those surgeries that got canceled, all of those patients that have all these other medical issues that haven't seen a doctor for months. There is going to be all of this to come, even after the worst of Covid.
Australian Medical Association NSW branch president Dr Danielle McMullen said there was pressure from all sides of the system and that "the downstream impact on physician morale is alarming ".
"It 's amazing how much the hospitals were under pressure before the crisis and when you think about what we are facing now, it is very difficult, ”said McMullen.