Anil Kumar Dutta

Anil was born in India in 1925 and conducted his initial medical training at Patna Medical College. He came to the UK in 1951 and spent a year completing postgraduate courses in neurology, chest diseases and other areas of medicine. His first post was as a Senior House Physician at the West Hill Hospital in Dartford, Kent where he worked on the Geriatric and Mental Observation wards. Following a period of hard work there, he found a post as Senior House Physician at Joyce Green Hospital and before starting work passed the final part of his MRCP in Edinburgh. He worked there for six months and then gained a position as Junior Registrar at Upton Hospital in Slough. He left the UK in 1955 and returned to India where his son Dipankar was born. Anil went on to work as a Consultant Physician in Jamshedpur, a steel town (now with a population of 2 million), best known for Tata Steel in Eastern India in Bihar state (now in Jharkhand state). He used to be the Chief of Medical Services in an industrial (Tata) hospital. Working for the NHS left a great impression on him and he greatly valued his time in it and the opportunities afforded to him. In his view, the NHS in the early days, though still finding its feet, worked well and patients could be treated simply and inexpensively. Whilst working in the UK, he particularly cherished the knowledge that he was helping people who themselves did not have to worry about the cost of their treatment, particularly during emergencies, and witnessed many charitable acts by senior members of clinical staff to help and support others.

Working in hospital – then and now

Smoking was excessive in the 1950s. Almost every doctor and nurse smoked. Thoracic surgeons who cut off cancerous lungs smoked incessantly. I remember watching Mr Norman Barret at a lecture with a lighted cigarette between his lips. There is a great change now for the better. When we were young doctors in hospitals we used to drink too much. Frequent parties were held.

Anil Kumar Dutta

India