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Dr Andrew George Scott Obituary

Retired Director of Clinical Services, Department of Health, Wellington New Zealand, and former County Medical Officer of Health and Principal School Medical Officer, Norwich, Norfolk, England.

Born 20/06/1919

Qualified 1942, MB ChB Aberdeen University

Died 20/02/2022, peacefully in his sleep from old age and a number of chronic ailments.


Andrew Scott was born on a small farm in the parish of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire. Life was tough and people survived by helping each other out. He realised from an early age that education was the only escape from working on the land, and had a desire to do focus his life on making life better for the people around him.

To this end he sought bursaries that would enable him to enrol in the Aberdeen University School of Medicine, where he commenced attendance in October 1937.

When war broke out in 1939, and he registered for call up to service, he was a third year student, which was classified as a reserved occupation, and he was told to finish his training.

He graduated in June1942 with an MB ChB and was assigned as a house surgeon to a hospital specialising in plastic surgery, mainly for service patients.

In early 1943 he was called up to join the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving as the Medical Officer on troop ships, and for 18 months sailed around Africa three times, to India, around the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to New York.

After trooping he was posted to the Middle East and ended up in Palestine in the 5th British Infantry Division, as Regimental Medical Officer to a Battalion of the Essex Regiment (13th Division of all luck!), The division went back to Italy but later sailed for France and came up in cattle trucks to join Montgomery in Belgium. He ended the war on the Baltic facing the Russians.

In Oct 1946, having been demobbed a few weeks earlier, he went back to University on a year’s fulltime course to take the DPH.

He started work as an assistant medical officer In September 1947, in Tynemouth on Tyneside, working in an Isolation Hospital and TB Sanatorium and had special responsibilities for the care of children.

In December 1950, he worked for the Dorset county council as the Senior Medical Officer and was involved in setting up and carrying out the BCG vaccination programme against tuberculosis.

He moved to Norfolk as Deputy County Medical Officer and Deputy Principal School Medical officer in May 1955 and was involved in setting up and running the polio vaccination programme. It was here that he met his wife Maggie and they were married in September 1956, and settled down in Horning in the Norfolk Broads.

In 1963, he became County Medical Officer and Principal School Medical Officer for Norfolk when his chief retired. A notable achievement of this tenure was the setting up of sheltered workshops for the intellectually handicapped, which transformed the meaning of their lives as well as making life easier for their care givers.

In 1974, there were great changes in health services and local government, and whilst he successfully applied for the post of Norfolk Area Medical Officer, he did not agree with the structure of the new regime and turned down the offer.

Instead, (after much family consultation) the decision was made to emigrate to New Zealand where he accepted the role of Medical Officer of Health for the Wellington area.

In 1975, he moved into Dept. of Health Head Office as Deputy Director of the Division of Clinical Services in August and became director a year or two later. This role primarily involved the assessment of new medicines and running the drug tariff.

In February 1980, he took over the MOH role for the Hutt Health District. And eventually retired to Rangiputa, an idyllic seaside, rural area in the far north of New Zealand fulfilling his love of the countryside, which was an important factor in his life. Andrew and Maggie made many good friends in the area and became well known for their hospitality and camaraderie.

He lived his final years in a retirement village in Palmerston North after Maggie passed away, and made many good friends there as well.

He leaves three children, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

He was a kind and generous man, who would give the time to anyone that needed advice or encouragement. His great sense of humour will be missed by all, along with his great wisdom from his life’s experiences. He never lost his compassion for people and endeavouring to make life better for common folk, right up to the end.

Andrew Lindsay Scott


Published 29 March 2022

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