The perfect excuse to renovate

The pandemic lockdowns and working from home gave Neurosurgeon Dr Hamish Alexander the perfect excuse to renovate his house.

  3 minutes

The pandemic lockdowns and subsequent shift to telehealth has sped up change in many practices. Upgrading systems, stripping out waiting rooms, and implementing new operating procedures were all par for the course. But in the case of Neurosurgeon Dr Hamish Alexander, it also sped up the need for a home renovation.

“We’d already been doing small amounts of telehealth in the public system,” explains Dr Alexander, who works in private practice and at Royal Brisbane Hospital. “We have patients all over Queensland, so had done a little bit of it but not to the extent it has progressed under COVID. It’s quite an adjustment getting used to doing things that would usually be done face-to-face.”

All of which was manageable—but doing that while home schooling four children under the age of 10 made it clear his family needed more space. “We’d always planned to do some renovations,” he adds. “But it became more urgent when we were spending all day in the house—we just didn’t have enough room. It was challenging, having to troubleshoot Zoom meetings with a three-year-old running interference all the time. My poor wife bore the brunt of it.”

Brisbane beckons

Luckily for a busy specialist who doesn’t have a lot of time to meet with bankers, the financial side of dealing with a home renovation was assisted by BOQ Specialist. Dr Alexander had first encountered the bank when he arrived in Brisbane after training in New Zealand, when he purchased his first home. “They certainly understood the unique challenges faced by a doctor in training, a lot better than many of the bigger banks.”

He had chosen Brisbane as the site for the research component of his specialist training at that time because of a research fellowship through Briz Brain & Spine. “I had two children and the security it offered, along with Brisbane being a little bit more family-friendly and affordable was appealing,” he says.

Dr Alexander spent a year doing research into brain tumour immunotherapy and was awarded the fellowship in 2016. He then went to New York for a year as a neurosurgical oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He returned to Brisbane at the end of 2017 and started work as a staff specialist at Royal Brisbane Hospital in private practice with Briz Brain & Spine.

In safe hands

His New York experience also cemented his relationship with BOQ Specialist. “Manhattan was not a cheap place to live. BOQ Specialist had a fellowship package of support available that understood I would be taking a financial hit for a long-term gain. So being able to manage that remotely via internet banking and having direct finances at all hours of the day was really very beneficial.

“With BOQ Specialist I’ve got a direct line to David Benyon who I can ring up and seek help from straight away, which is a level of personal service I don’t think you get with other banks.”

Thinking about renovating your home? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for renovating a property. Or ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

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