A 93-year-old surgeon who has devoted 71 years of his life to the National Health Service, says he’s going to carry on.
Being one of the longest-serving medical professionals in the United Kingdom, Professor Harold Ellis admits he has witnessed a lot of changes in the healthcare sector.
“There’s been tremendous changes. Expectations for health care are much, much higher. When I started working living until your 60s was seen as a great age,” Professor Ellis said.
“People are living longer,” he added. “And the price of everything has gone up including the cost of drugs and equipment.”
“If you were in your seventies or eighties you should have been dead twenty years prior. People are living longer.
“And the price of everything has gone up including the cost of drugs and equipment.
“We have to face up to the fact health care is expensive. Do we want an NHS or do we want to pay for treatment?
“I’d much rather a new hospital than a new submarine for example.”
He added: “The job of a surgeon is completely different, most of the illnesses I would have treated aren’t an issue any more.
“And a lot of the things surgeons do nowadays I would never have done in my day.”
Professor Ellis also expressed his concern at the early age of retirement many doctors are now choosing to take – something not seen in his heyday.
He said: “The other extraordinary thing that is happening is there are many people retiring at 59 as it is the earliest you can retire and get full pension.
“I didn’t know anybody who retired unless they were ill before 65.
“We are losing the most experienced and respected people and they go into private practices and make more money.”