11. Dr Kailash Chand
BMA big beast
Dr Kailash Chand was nominated once again this year for his tenacious activism to support general practice. ‘A tireless defender of general practice,’ said one colleague. Another said: ‘He is devoted and dedicated to the free and efficient provision of the NHS.’
And the deputy chair of the BMA has had even more of an impact this year, writing columns in the Guardian and local newspapers that play a vital role in the national debate, such as those that denounced NICE’s statins guidance as a ‘victory for vested interests’ and criticised the Prime Minister for ‘shameless political game-playing’.
The retired Cheshire GP was shortlisted as the Labour candidate for the Heywood and Middleton by-election in October, but lost out to Unite insider Liz McInnes. And he has continued to play a role behind the scenes advising senior Labour figures.
And his considerable experience means that Dr Chand is taken seriously at all levels of the health service. He was chair of NHS Tameside and Glossop from 2009 to 2012 and is currently chair of Healthwatch Tameside and an adviser on the development of the devolution experiment in Manchester.
But his favourite moment of the past 12 months was being reappointed to his role as deputy BMA chair.
‘It was a moment of pride for me that I was re-elected unopposed for the third year running,’ he says. ‘I believe this is in recognition of not just my work in shaping up some of the internal reorganisation in the BMA but also how I have been influencing local and national debates on the NHS.’ And long may it continue.