Ila was born in India in West Bengal in 1948 and qualified from Calcutta Medical College, India, in 1974. While in her third or fourth year of study she applied for postgraduate training in the UK, though she hadn’t yet qualified. She worked as a Junior and Senior House Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Calcutta and then became a Medical Officer for the West Bengal Medical Service. Eventually she received a letter from Bath Hospital and came to the UK on 6 November 1977 to take up a clinical attachment at St Martin’s Hospital in Bath. After the initial probation period she found work as a Senior House Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, first at George Elliot Hospital in Nuneaton, then in Derby City Hospital. She then changed her specialist subject to anaesthesia, working in Margate, South Cleveland and North Tees General Hospital. In 1982 she joined the General Practice Training Scheme in London and then finally went into General Practice. She met her husband (who was her classmate) whilst in London. She joined as a salaried partner in a practice in East London in 1983 but was asked to leave when she became pregnant with her daughter in 1985. Rather than take the practice partner to an industrial tribunal, she left with her 150 patients to start her own practice, building up to 1800 patients. She then did a job share with her husband and built the practice list up to 2500. Following a protracted fight with Newham Health Authority
, she eventually got planning permission to move to bigger premises and shared the partnership with her husband. Her practice list now stands at 5200. The Practice has taken on a full-time partner and also employs three GPs and offers teaching for undergraduate medical students from Bart’s and the London Hospital.
The best health service in the world
This is the best health service in the whole world. Recently I went to America for one week to see friends. I could not believe my eyes the way the American health service works. If you have no money or you are in a low income group, how can you survive your health problem? People in this country don’t realise how fortunate they are to have the National Health Service. It is a great service and I hope it stays.