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Respected GP and ‘fearless defender’ of NHS dies at 73

·2-min read

Leading political figures and medics have paid tribute to a respected GP and “fearless defender” of the NHS, who died on Monday aged 73.

Prof Kailash Chand was renowned for his longstanding service to the NHS, for which he received an OBE, as well as his outspoken criticism of government NHS policy including the recent lifting of Covid restrictions.

Chand’s son, Dr Aseem Malhotra, shared the news on Twitter that he had suffered a cardiac arrest at home late on Monday afternoon. “Can’t stop crying. Currently sitting on his bed. Completely and utterly heartbroken,” a second tweet read.

Chand came to Britain from India in 1978 as a young doctor, before working as a GP in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, for 25 years. He became the first Asian to be elected as honorary vice-president and deputy chair of the council of the British Medical Association, which represents more than 150,000 doctors in the UK.

The BMA tweeted after his death: “Vice President, former deputy council chair, GPC member and staunch defender of the NHS, his was a life of service to his patients and fellow doctors and all at the BMA will miss him deeply.”

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Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, paid tribute to the retired Tameside GP, adding that Chand was the first to propose that Burnham create a race equality panel for Greater Manchester.

“This is just one example of the profound impact that Kailash had on life here in Greater Manchester for many, many years.

“He will always be known as one of the staunchest supporters of our national health service. We are reeling from his loss this morning, but grateful for the huge contribution that he made,” said Burnham.

Angela Rayner, the MP for Ashton, tweeted: “This is such a devastating blow to our community. Rest in peace Dr Kailash Chand, a brilliant GP who was a fearless defender of our NHS campaigning against privatisation.”

Clive Peedell, a consultant clinical oncologist and co-founder of the National Health Action party, said Chand was “an absolute gentleman and family man, who dedicated his life to serving the #NHS and the public. He was the most committed and passionate NHS campaigner that I have ever met.”

Chand was listed under the Health Service Journal’s top 50 healthcare pioneers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and the GG2 “power list” for high achievers from Asian backgrounds.

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