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Independents' Day

New candidate at the eleventh hour

Dr Tony Calland this week became a last-minute contender in the battle to be the next BMA chair.

The deadline for nominations ran out on Tuesday and with just hours to go, the retired GP made the competition a three-horse race.

Dr Calland told Pulse he believed he had more experience to offer than rival candidates, Dr Hamish Meldrum and Dr Sam Everington.

'I just felt there needed to be a reasonable number of people in the running with different things to offer. The BMA needed a bit of choice,' he said.

A medicopolitical heavyweight, Dr Calland is an ex-chair of the Welsh council for the BMA and current chair of the BMA medical ethics committee. He has worked as a GP in the Wye Valley in Wales for most of his medical career since graduating from the University of Liverpool in 1970.

He said recently that the state of NHS Wales caused medical professionals to 'weep with despair'.

Dr Calland, who retired from practice last year, has called for medical leaders to be 'statesmen', once saying: 'One always has to remember when dealing with politicians, humiliating them is seldom helpful, and one never knows when they may return as health secretary.'

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