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GPs from across the UK are offering their time, money and expertise to help the victims of the tsunami disaster.

While some are travelling to assist the relief operation in the devastated countries, others have organised collections and donated pay from out-of-hours shifts and appraisals.

Dr Raj Chandran, a GP in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, has practised in affected areas in Sri Lanka and lost relatives in the disaster. He is flying to the country for four weeks next month.

Dr Chandran, who is also deputy mayor of Gedling borough council, has persuaded the council to 'adopt' an affected village.

He has also set up a database of GPs and other health professionals who are willing to give up holidays this year to help reconstruction.

He said: 'There are enough doctors in Sri Lanka treating the wounded at the moment. But they won't be there forever. We need doctors to go in four to six weeks' time and for the rest of the year.'

Dr Charitha Thenuwara, a GP in London, flew to Sri Lanka last Monday to help.

Dr Thenuwara had planned a holiday to visit his parents in Colombo, who were unhurt, but after seeing the devastation and knowing friends were still missing, he went to the affected south of the island.

Practice manager Marjorie Condie said: 'I think he

was extremely worried about what he was going to find. But he felt he had to get involved.'

The practice has also sent 25 crates of medical supplies.

Another GP of Sri Lankan origin, Dr Selly Shanmugadasan, from east London, is planning to visit the Tamil region in the north-east of the island. It has been starved of resources due to war and an embargo on medical supplies. 'I felt I had a duty to help them out however I could,' he said.

Dr Martin Rankin, a GP in Plympton, Devon, suggested to colleagues that they do an extra out-of-hours shift and donate their pay.

'I'll be doing an out-of-hours shift in Honiton that will be about £220 ­ I'll donate the whole of that to the fund,' he said.

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