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‘It’s been a privilege’ – Wexford’s Dr Ravi Kumar retires as GP but is not hanging up the stethoscope

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Dr Ravi Kumar.

Dr Ravi Kumar.

Dr Ravi Kumar.

wexfordpeople

Dr Ravi Kumar says it has been a privilege working as a GP in Wexford for almost three decades and that he’s a little “lost for words” at the mountain of well wishes, goodwill and cards following his decision to retire from general practice.

I want to thank the people of Wexford for all the support, now and down through the years. It's been a pleasure for me to look after them. I'm lost for words really. I only found them the best,” he says.

One of the town’s most popular doctors, Ravi first came to Wexford from India in 1982. He worked at Wexford Hospital and then a number of other hospitals around the country before joining Tom O’Leary as a GP in Wexford in 1994, on the retirement of Frank Keenan. The new Surgery in Clonard was opened that same year and Ravi has been a mainstay of medical care in the area ever since.

Ravi says that while he’s “enjoyed every bit of it”, the time is right for him to step back from his work as a GP. “It has been a privilege. I will miss it all but I felt the time had come to extricate myself from it and do other things.”

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He acknowledges that the world of healthcare has changed considerably since he started out in Wexford in the mid-nineties, but believes that GPs have the same responsibilities to the communities they serve. “People trust in you. You get to know them and their families so well. I always felt I wanted to give people my best.”

He says the role does not come without challenges and frustrations. “You have to remember that the GP is the first point of contact for most people. GPs do as much as they can but can get frustrated with the next step. If we had a well-structured secondary care system we would do better.”

For Ravi, retirement from general practice does not mean hanging up the stethoscope or resting on the laurels. “I believe it’s very important to keep the mind active, to keep taking challenges in life."

He’s long had an interest in sports medicine and will be continuing the work he’s been doing for the past 12 years as team doctor for the men’s and women’s squads at Wexford Youths FC.

Starting next month, he’ll also be working with the FAI, providing medical cover for underage teams, a role that will require some travel abroad.

While Ravi will no longer be involved in the Surgery in Clonard Avenue on a day-to-day basis, patients will still encounter him from time to time as he will be returning as a locum to cover occasional holiday leave.His patients will now be under the care of colleagues Dr Leech and Dr Leslie.

The affable GP paid tribute to the “wonderful staff who made the practice a happy place for me to work in”. And, as he settled into a busy retirement, he thanked his wife Rose and children, Rachel, Richard and Rajiv, for all their support over the years.


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