A great doctor remembered with affection

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CONTINUING the Dr John McKee story as part of a series on doctors and nurses who worked at the Old Bega Hospital. Last week the doctor had come to Bega to take up a partnership withDr O’Reilly.
Nanjing Night Net

‘A great old doctor’: Dr John McKee was a humble, deep-thinking doctor, who was dedicated to his patients, often to the exclusion of his own welfare.

IN 1822 Dr John joined Drs O’Reilly, Marchall, Lister, Evershed and White as medical practioners at the Bega Hospital, when Matron McKidd was in charge.

When Dr O’Reilly retired from Bega, Dr John took over the practice on his own.

From 1925 to 1928 Dr John served on the Bega Municipal Council, but work always took precedence. One year during March he had only two full nights’ sleep.

Dr John did his own X-rays, including barium meals and enemas. He also did his own blood transfusions, including cross matching and collecting the blood from the donor.

Bega’s other medical man, Dr Marshman, joined the services in World War IIleaving Dr John to face the immense task of caring for the medical health of the community alone.

For well over a year the health of Bega depended on the skill, dedication and fortitude of its lone doctor.He was regarded as a first class family doctor, an excellent surgeon and a skilled obstetrician.

The major part of his work at the hospital was in an honorary capacity. Besides caring for patientshe spent many hours teaching and lecturing to nursing staff and the ancillary staff.

Dr John was a very humble, deep-thinking doctor, who was dedicated to the practice of medicine and to his patients, often to the exclusion of his own welfare.

Many contributors to “Capturing the Memories” remember Dr John with affection as the man who took out their tonsils, adenoids, appendix and other operations.

“He was a great old doctor”, so many said.He delivered in the vicinity of 6000 babies while in Bega and had the distinction of delivering several grandchildren of the babies that he brought into the world.

He accomplished an enormous amount of work in his lifetime but was never too busy to listen to the troubles of his patients, the nursing staff and his colleagues.

In 1965 the Council of the Municipality of Bega extended to Dr McKee The Freedom of the Municipality from a period dating from October 23 to October 30, with the right of entry and use of all services of the Municipality.

Mayor D B Goldberg said: “When the suggestion was made to the Festival Committee that the proceeds this year might be applied towards some sort of recognition of the services of Dr John McKee to the town and district over 43 years, such proposal was enthusiastically adopted; and, I am sure, has met the full appropriation of the people”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.