Monday, July 09, 2007

Profiles of Gordon's five new talents

Jun 29, 2007, United Kingdom

Ara Darzi

The surgeon drafted into the Brown government to help boost the NHS is one of Britain's leading experts in keyhole surgery.

But Sir Ara Darzi has already crossed swords with ministers, recommending in vain two years ago that two hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton should remain open.

Sir Ara, 47, has pioneered techniques for making operations less invasive, including surgery for cancer patients.

Already a government adviser on the NHS, Sir Ara, who was born in Armenia, has taught minimal access surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons and set national guidelines for education and training in this area.

He pledged to stay on the "front line" and said that it was a "privilege and honour" to be able to work in Gordon Brown's administration.

Sir Ara said yesterday that he would work from Monday to Thursday as a health minister - although he is paid for just three days.

He will work for free as an NHS surgeon on Fridays. The professor is the current holder of the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, where he is head of surgery, oncology, reproductive biology and anaesthetics.

He is also honorary consultant surgeon at St Mary's Hospital and The Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Sir Ara's team has developed the use of surgical robots and image-guided surgery, and he has called for more research in this area. In 2001, his team won a Queen's Anniversary Prize in recognition of their achievements in pioneering techniques and in addressing training requirements.

Sir Ara said of his appointment: "My career has been dedicated to improving the health of patients.

“It is a great honour and privilege to be asked by the Prime Minister to continue that work for patients across the country. “

By Brendan Carlin


Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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