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

Politicians and medics pay tribute to Kailash Chand, who received an OBE for his health service work

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.”

So sad at death of Dr Kailash Chand a true socialist who always defended our NHS. In his memory stop privatisation and create a National Care Service. RIP and thank you for a wonderful life of care.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 26, 2021

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.


Georgina Quach

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Manchester attack surgeon: 'The impact for patients is likely to be lifelong'
Adam Reid describes treating the injuries of the Manchester bombing victims, using techniques developed on the battlefield

As told to Helen Pidd North of England editor

26, May, 2017 @4:35 PM

Article image
Healthy young people receiving Covid vaccine in parts of England
Vaccine’s short shelf life means those not in vulnerable groups are sometimes given surplus doses

Helen Pidd , Jessica Murray, Josh Halliday and Diane Taylor

29, Jan, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
Doctor who pleaded for more hospital PPE dies of coronavirus
Abdul Mabud Chowdhury wrote on Facebook asking PM to better equip NHS workers

Matthew Weaver

09, Apr, 2020 @3:01 PM

Article image
Junior doctors offer free CPR lessons during strike
Medics hold sessions in Manchester with parents and children learning life-saving skills by practising on mannequins

Nazia Parveen North of England correspondent

10, Feb, 2016 @12:38 PM

Article image
Fears of new care crisis at NHS hospital

Exclusive: Reports seen by the Guardian find patients waiting for days and left in pain at Tameside unit in Greater Manchester

Denis Campbell, health correspondent

02, Jul, 2013 @8:25 PM

Article image
Junior doctors: 'This is a destruction of all I feel the NHS stood for'
Up to 38,000 junior doctors joined in strike by professors and activists across England as Jeremy Hunt labels action ‘very disappointing’

Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

12, Jan, 2016 @6:47 PM

Article image
Jean Broughton obituary

Other lives: NHS pioneer who set up a group practice in a depressed area of Manchester

Cathy Norris and Margaret Douglas

30, Jul, 2013 @3:32 PM

Article image
Tameside hospital's key staff

Hospital's chief executive of 15 years and medical director told to go by local GP-led clinical commissioning group

Denis Campbell, health correspondent

02, Jul, 2013 @8:36 PM

Article image
Hospital trauma units across England on terror attack standby
NHS England advises surgical teams to review staffing after Manchester bomb and be ready for ballistic and blast injuries

Denis Campbell Health policy editor

25, May, 2017 @5:27 PM

Article image
Manchester surgeon: 'The families understand this attack does not represent Muslims'
Mohamed Ismail Aly, one of the surgeons to operate on victims of last week’s attack, tells of his experiences on the night

As told to Helen Pidd North of England editor

29, May, 2017 @4:34 PM