Mullumbimby Hospital’s longest serving Visting Medical Officer (VMO), Dr Suresh Rananavare, died of a heart attack at the age of 71 on Sunday, July 22.
Indian born Dr Suresh arrived in Mullumbimby to take over the Burringbar Street practice in 1976, and continued to practise until the Monday before he passed.
He was also the town’s only solo practitioner.
A patient of Dr Suresh’s told The Echo, ‘I really really appreciated him, he was gentle, kind, intelligent and humble, far from perfect but he had a lot of humility.’
If you need half an hour you get half an hour, and he dealt with one patient at a time.
And whoever he got in that room got his total attention. He took his Hippocratic Oath very seriously.
Dr Suresh was so dedicated to his role as a doctor that he often said, ‘What will I do if I don’t practise medicine?’
And practise he did.
For the past thirty-plus years, the Bombay-trained doctor from a family in which there were nine doctors, treated the residents of Mullumbimby.
His practice continued to grow and now numbers thousands of patients.
The young mothers that had babies that he delivered are now adults, and those adults still come here and they bring their children here.
Dr Suresh has also played an important role in the local Indian community who will greatly miss his dedicated medical service.
He remained very open to cultural difference which was particularly appropriate in a community as diverse as Mullumbimby.
Committed to extending his skills as a doctor, Suresh practised integrative medicine, and alongside the usual consultation, offered patients spinal manipulation, laser-therapy acupuncture, hypnotherapy, nutritional and Ayurvedic medicine.
But he was adamant that he was not an alternative or hippy doctor; however, he had more qualifications than most.
Olympic torch bearer
While he took part in the Chincogan Run for many years, a highlight of his life was when he was chosen as a torch bearer for the 2000 Olympics.
Family from India will be arriving in Mullumbimby this week to celebrate the life of a very spiritual man who himself leaves behind no wife or children.
His dedication for the past 36 years has been to the people of Mullumbimby.
Details for the funeral, to be held at the Mullumbimby High School Hall on Saturday, will be published in local newspapers and posted on the door of the No. 24 Burringbar Street practice.