A 93-year-old surgeon devotes 71 years of his life working for the National Health Service (NHS) in England. He has treated and saved thousands of patients throughout his career. Now a medical professor with the NHS, he has no plans to stop working yet.
Being one of the longest-serving medical professionals in the United Kingdom, Professor Harold Ellis has witnessed a lot of changes in the healthcare sector over the last seven decades.
“There’s been tremendous changes. Expectations for health care are much, much higher. When I started working living until your sixites was seen as a great age,” Professor Ellis said, according to Mirror.
“People are living longer,” he added. “And the price of everything has gone up including the cost of drugs and equipment.”
Born in the East End of London in 1926 to Polish-Jewish parents, Professor Ellis’s stint in the NHS began as soon as he passed exams to qualify as a doctor in July 1948.
“I qualified in July 1948, aged 22, from the University of Oxford. The very month the health service came in, funnily enough though it did not mean anything to us at all, we were just delighted to be doctors,” he said in an interview with BBC back in 2008.
He joined the NHS in the month of its inception—July 1948, training as a surgeon at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford. During the early days of the NHS, young doctors were treated well.
“We had all our meals, our laundry and at the Radcliffe, because of some benefaction, we had free beer in the evenings,” he recalled. “We lived in the hospital and had very little time off. The hospital was our life and great it was too.”
As the years went by, he has worked as a surgeon at hospitals run by the NHS across England in Oxford, Sheffield, Northampton, and London. From 1960 to 1989, he ran the surgical unit at the now-closed Westminster Hospital, while being the professor of surgery at the same time.
Working as a surgeon, he would see at most 40 patients at each outpatient clinic, and he would operate on up to six patients four times per week.
“The job of a surgeon is completely different, most of the illnesses I would have treated aren’t an issue any more,” Professor Ellis said, as per Daily Star.
What a complete honour today to be at the unveiling of the Professor Harold Ellis portrait and to see it hanging in the…
Professor Ellis has “dedicated my whole life to the NHS.” Seventy-one years later since 1948, he is still working five days a week with the NHS as a medical professor teaching anatomy at Guy’s Hospital in London even though he officially retired in 1989.
The sprightly professor commutes to his workplace from his home in East Finchley each day.
“It used to be that someone of 75 was seen as an old man. Nowadays, people of that age are running marathons,” he said.
INTRODUCING OUR SPEAKERSProfessor Harold EllisCBE FRCSProf Ellis is one of the most notable British surgeons of the…
Besides working, the father of two and grandfather of six is kept busy with writing. He has written hundreds of papers and books, such as his latest—Stories From The Operating Theatre And Other Essays. He also delights in country walks.
Professor Ellis has no plans to stop working at the moment unless someone tells him to leave.
“I keep telling my colleagues if they find I’m getting too old and past it, tell me and I’ll leave,” he said.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/18/harold-ellis-surgeon-nhs-whistleblowers-suspension-bullying-never-happened?CMP=share_btn_fb This rather impressive chap is my Great Uncle.
He said, Mirror reported: “The other extraordinary thing that is happening is there are many people retiring at 59 as it is the earliest you can retire and get full pension.”
Though beyond 59 and in his 90s, Professor Ellis chooses to work because “my wife won’t let me in the house during the day, she likes to get me out in the morning!” he joked.
“I couldn’t have done anything else with my life,” he added. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time working as a surgeon and I continue to enjoy what I do now.”
Professor Ellis’s zest for life and hardworking attitude are something we should all learn from! He certainly deserves our respect for showing us there’s never a mandatory age for retiring.
Watch the video: