A DOCTOR on Wearside who set up his own practice has hung up his stethoscope after almost a quarter of a century treating patients.
Kannankara Mathew Thomas has left Harraton Surgery, in Vigo Lane, Harraton, after 24 years of treating patients in the community.
The 67-year-old, who set up the surgery, first started work there in June 1988 and has developed a loyal patient list.
Despite being fit and healthy himself, Dr Thomas, who is originally from India, feels that now is the right time to leave the profession and take a well-earned break from working life.
Dr Thomas hands over to Dr Inderjeet Singh, who will now run the practice.
Dr Thomas said he is now looking forward to spending more time with wife Mol, 58, and children Mayra, 36, Mathew, 31, and Abraham, 28.
“When I started, my wife and children supported me a lot,” said Dr Thomas, who also had practices at Fence Houses and Shiney Row during his career.
“They put up with me even though I was always very busy in the early stage.
“A lot of the time I was on call 24 hours a day.
“Even when the calls came in the middle of the night, my family still supported me because I was looking after the practice.”
Dr Thomas qualified to be a doctor in India before going to Jamaica in the West Indies.
He arrived in Britain in the early 1980s.
He is keen to get back on the golf course and travel to his native India to see friends and family.
“I want to start playing a bit more golf. I have plenty of time in hand to do that.”
Dr Thomas expressed thanks to his colleagues Elaine Rose and Janet McGrath, who had worked with him at the surgery from the beginning.
He also paid tribute to husband and wife David and Janice Richardson, as well as former Mayor of Sunderland, Walter Scott, who he says were all hugely helpful in helping him create Harraton Surgery.