Veteran GP campaigner wins RCGP presidency battle
By Gareth Iacobucci
Dr Iona Heath, columnist, veteran GP campaigner and outspoken critic of Government health reforms, has won the race to become new president of the RCGP.
Dr Heath, a GP in Kentish Town, north London, was elected to replace outgoing president Professor David Haslam after a vigorously contested and at times controversial election.
She beat Dr Una Coales into second place, with Dr Has Joshi third, following a postal vote open to 36,000 members of the college.
Dr Heath's high profile – she ranked fourth in Pulse's new year list of the most influential GPs in the country - always made her favourite for the role.
She told Pulse after that placing: ‘The big challenge is to hold on to what is good about general practice. We must resist the pressures to turn general practice from a cottage industry to something more industrial.'
Dr Heath has been working at a practice in one of the most deprived areas of London for 30 years and holds a place on the WONCA World council of general practice until 2010.
Professor Steve Field, chair of the RCGP, said he was 'really pleased' by the result.
'I think Iona's a outstanding jobbing general practitioner in London,' he said. ''I read her column in the BMJ avidly. She's stimulating, original, an ideal leader of the profession.'Dr Iona Heath