Dr Abdullah, who operated as a single-handed GP at Rainham Health Centre in Havering, died at Queen’s Hospital in Essex on 8 December, where he had started his career in 1985.
The GP moved to the UK from Iraq over 36 years ago and worked in Havering for the majority of his career. Colleagues have described him as a ‘selfless and compassionate’ man.
Dr Abdullah is one of 16 GPs to have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March, and is the 14th from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background to lose his life to the virus.
Chair of Havering CCG Dr Atul Aggarwal paid tribute to the work of Dr Abdullah. He said: ‘It is with deep sadness that we share with you the loss of a valued GP and member of Havering CCG, Dr Abdul-Razaq Abdullah to COVID-19. Dr Abdullah was a sole partner at his own practice in Rainham and had worked in Havering for 30 years.
GP lost to COVID-19
‘Above all else, he was a selfless and compassionate man who loved his patients and was popular and respected among his peers. His death is a tragic loss to our GP community. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Dr Abdullah’s family, friends and work colleagues. We are ensuring they are supported through this difficult time and I would like to thank GPs and practice staff from across our area for the support and compassion they are also providing.’
He added: ‘Dr Abdullah’s family would like to express their thanks to the staff who cared for him in the intensive care unit at Queen’s Hospital, and his colleagues at his practice who are continuing his good work.’
The British International Doctors Association and the RCGP have asked the government to clarify why BAME groups have not been prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination, given evidence of the disproportionate impact of the virus on people from BAME backgrounds.
A tribute to the GPs who have died from COVID-19 can be found here.