Tributes paid to ex-Hartlepool GP who died the day before 90th birthday

Former Hartlepool GP Dr Jim Stanners.
Former Hartlepool GP Dr Jim Stanners.
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A former Hartlepool doctor who emigrated to Canada for a new life has died just one day before his 90th birthday.

Dr James Stanners passed away peacefully on March 9 just before reaching the milestone.

Doctors have to work tremendously long hours, probably dealing with up to 60 patients a day, yet in many cases treatment is quite unnecessary.

Dr Jim Stanners

James, known as Jim, was born in Wick, Scotland, on March 10, 1925.

Jim spent his childhood in Grangemouth, where he met and married his childhood sweetheart Betty on July 6, 1950.

He worked as a general practitioner in both Wingate and Hartlepool for 16 years before emigrating to Canada in 1966.

Daughter Jean Rittenhouse said: “My father was well respected. When we left Hartlepool in 1966 there were two articles published in the Hartlepool Mail.

“Over the years my parents kept in contact with several former patients.”

Outlining his reasons for his decision to leave England at the time, Jim said the NHS was being put under too much pressure.

He said in a newspaper article: “The health service is misused because it is free.

“Doctors have to work tremendously long hours, probably dealing with up to 60 patients a day, yet in many cases treatment is quite unnecessary.

“This is why most members of the medical profession are dissatisfied.

“More than half their time is spent dealing with minor ailments like colds and sore throats.

“If a small charge was made, which could be reclaimable, a lot of unnecessary consultation would be eliminated and genuine patients would not have so long to wait.”

A week later Jim, wife Betty and their children Martin, 14, and Jean, who was 12 at the time, set sail for Canada.

Jim established a practice in Daysland ,where he worked for 21 years, before retiring to Edmonton. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed many happy hours on the course.

He is survived by his wife Betty Stanners, son Martin Stanners and daughter-in-law Colleen, daughter Jean, married to Bryan, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.