Kumar was born on 4 April 1944 in India, where he completed his medical training at the Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra. He worked as a Medical Officer in Primary Care in rural India, covering some 30 villages, but seeing how difficult it was to provide care to the young in very remote parts of India led him to further his interest in paediatrics as a Medical Officer in the medical college that he had graduated from. He was then offered a clinical attachment in paediatrics in County Durham, so migrated to the UK in February 1973. Kumar was initially employed as a Senior House Officer in Paediatrics at Pilgrim Hospital, Lancashire and then later, at Bury General Hospital in 1974. He became a Registrar in Paediatrics in 1976 and then qualified in General Practice, in Bury, in 1979. In 1980 he started a general practice in Radcliffe and in 1984 his was the first in the area to be computerised, and also a first teaching practice. He expanded his practice to include one part-time and three full-time staff members including his wife and son, making it a very family-based practice. He has been heavily involved in the training of GP tutors, becoming a General Practice tutor in 1988, and founding the National Association of Primary Care Educators in 1993 of which he was the Chair for ten years. Kumar was integral in the process of professionalizing the education of educators in primary care. He has held a large variety of honorary posts including the Chairmanship of the Health Promotion Committee for Bury and Rochdale Health Authority, and was Founder Director of out-of-hours care for Bury and Rochdale Doctors on Call. In 1989 he established a single occupancy nursing home, which was the first in the area and he was a GP Tutor until 2009. He also set up the Bury Postgraduate Education Charity in 1990 which provided free education to primary care staff and this organisation is still in operation today. Kumar gained his FRCGP in 1996 and became a Fellow (FRCGP) in May 2008. In that same year he was also awarded an MBE.
Kumar was made a Fellow of the British Medical Association in 2011 for his services to the profession. He retired from active General Practice in 2011 and received a personal acknowledgement for his service from the Prime Minister, David Cameron. He is now developing care services for dementia.
The best health service in the world
The NHS has provided me a with unique opportunity to practise the science of medicine as an art and to have the satisfaction of being a doctor. We need to express a communal gratitude to the late Aneurin Bevan for creating it and I am certain one should ask the question, what did the NHS do for you?