Pride in shire’s medical history

Re the obituary on Dr Jack Woolridge (Leader, April 18).

I shared Murray Trembath’s excellent article about Jack Woolridge’s life and devotion to the local community, with my father, Dr Maurice Cohen, who was a friend and colleague of Jack’s. 

He was so pleased to read about Jack and he thought that Jack would be the first to laugh to hear himself described as “legendary”! 

He also agreed that Jack was well liked and genuinely cared for his patients.

My father lived and worked as a local doctor in Cronulla from 1960 until 1971, and was an associate surgeon at Sutherland Hospital from 1960. He is 91 and now lives in England.

When I asked him about the first honorary medical officers at Sutherland Hospital, my father said that in 1958-59, all the newly appointed medical staff were honorary, and treated public patients in the hospital for nothing. This was before Medicare.

Initially, many of these doctors were from the local General Practices (Cronulla and Caringbah). 

I am not sure how much interest there is in local ‘medical’ history, but he did mention the names of some other local medical physicians: Dr Kinny and Dr Max O’Halloran (from the Cronulla medical practice), as well as surgeons Dr Gilbert Lynch (Caringbah medical practice); Dr Don Wurth (Cronulla medical practice); and Dr Harry Segal (who later built Kareena Private Hospital in his own back garden).

Dr David Woods, was an anaesthetist (Cronulla practice) as well as Dr Alex Macintosh, who founded the Cronulla medical clinic and was an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

I am sure that the list of these early doctors is much longer than the above – and their contributions to the care of the local community was an important part of our local history.

 Sue Cohen, Cronulla