Doc Ridley to take it easy

MIKE Ridley will celebrate 50 years of practising medicine with a medicinal draught or two with friends and rugby union colleagues at a party at the Coast Hotel this week.

One of Coffs Harbour's more colourful general practitioners, the UK-trained Dr Ridley qualified to practice medicine on Bastille Day, July 14, 1958.

Since he and his wife first arrived in Coffs Harbour in 1963, he has fought the good fight on behalf of country doctors and country hospitals in national, state and local arenas.

A former NSW President of the Australian Medical Association, he is proud of his accomplishments in that position in introducing tort law reform for medical cases in NSW and persuading the Treasury Managed Fund to cover doctors for their work in public hospitals when liability insurance threatened to bankrupt obstetricians and neurosurgeons..

A former Chairman of the Board of the Coffs Harbour Hospital, he mourns the loss of local hospital boards.

He has worked in three different Coffs Harbour hospitals and has just resigned after 45 years as an honorary medical officer at the base hospital, where he was 'almost the only one left in the State'.

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