Redbridge doctor: ‘Come clean if you back A&E axe’

A DOCTOR who says King George Hospital saved his wife’s life, is challenging colleagues who back the closure of its A&E to “put their name down” and make their views public.

Dr David Shubhaker has branded claims GPs support the closure of A&E and the labour ward in Barley Lane, Goodmayes as “total rubbish”.

He said: “I have never heard a doctor working in Redbridge say they want it to close.”

Proposals to close the services have been approved but campaigners pledge to take their fight to the government.

Dr Shubhaker, who works at Barkingside Medical Practice, Cranbrook Road, Barkingside, rallied colleagues in the summer to put their name to a petition in opposition to the closure threat.

He is contacting doctors again to start a second petition.

Dr Shubhaker’s feelings have been strengthened after his wife, Dr Urmila Shubhaker, had a cardiac arrest after an asthma attack earlier this month. He is convinced she would not be alive had she not gone to her nearest hospital, King George.

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A protest march has been organised by campaigner Wilson Chowdhry for January 29.

Protesters will march from Little Heath Green to Ilford Town Centre from noon.

Redbridge Council is expected to refer the Health for North East London (HfNEL) proposals to Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley next month, in the hope he will pull the plug on them.

HfNEL says it has fully consulted on the proposals, with the revised recommendations discussed with 450 GPs in north east London.

It says GP commissioning groups gave “overall support” for their vision, but many groups had “significant concerns about the quality and capacity of current services”, as well as its impact, implementation and the timescale for the proposals.