A former L&D doctor has made a generous donation to the hospital in support of the fantastic work staff do for patients and as recognition of the invaluable support he received from a consultant during his time at the L&D. Dr Dhabuwala is keen to formally recognise the fantastic support he received from Dr Hale, when he started in the UK as one of the L&D’s first foreign doctors, so the hospital are renaming the ward Dr Hale worked on for the majority of his time at the L&D Ward 10 after Dr Hale as a mark of his long service and outstanding contribution to the community.
Dr Dhabuwala came to work at the L&D in 1968 to work on the new Ward 15 and 16 as a senior house officer having studied and trained in medicine in his home country of Burma. He was excited to work alongside Dr Hale on a new ideology that patients over the age of 65 were not necessarily ‘geriatric’ and they were not coming into hospital because of old age but more often than not they had a medical condition that could be treated and they could go home and continue with their lives after their stay in hospital.
When Dr Dhabuwala arrived at the L&D Ward 15 and 16 weren’t finished so he played a significant part in setting up the wards before he started caring for patients. He had an excellent relationship with Dr Hale and found him to be incredibly supportive even though he wasn’t the lead clinician for that area. In the 60s and 70s it was very difficult for a foreign doctor to progress in their careers in the UK, there was a real prejudice against them getting promotions despite their skill and knowledge. Dr Dhabuwala acknowledges this but said ‘Dr Hale didn’t worry about my skin colour. He knew I was well qualified for the job and with over five years’ experience he trusted me to run Ward 10, Ward 15 and Ward 16 but seek his guidance as and when I needed it. It was a real honour to work with Dr Hale and I will be forever grateful to him for the part he played in my medical career. We remained friends for many years after we left the L&D.’
Simon Linnett, Hospital Chairman said ‘It was a delight to meet Dr Dhabuwala and to be able to acknowledge publicly his generosity and also to hear him talk with such personal affection and admiration for Dr Hale, a much respected and highly regarded former L&D consultant. On behalf of all the staff and patients I would like to express my gratitude to Dr Dhabuwala for his very generous gift to the hospital. His contribution will help us improve the environment in which patients are cared and leave a lasting legacy of both his and Dr Hale’s time here at the L&D.’
The hospital is very grateful to Dr Dhabuwala for his generosity and support, 50 years after he first came to the L&D.