Jog Anand was a living “bridge” to practice in the period before the NHS Reorganisation Act 1973, and he continued as an invaluable source of wisdom and encouragement, right up to his final years.
Jog’s youth was shaped by British rule in India; his mother was a doctor with the Indian Civil Service (she qualified in 1928) and he moved schools frequently to wherever she was posted. As a 15-year-old at Partition, he and his family fled to Solan in the hills where they waited for his mother to be permitted to leave her post and join them.
After his geology degree studies at Jammu and Kashmir University were interrupted by the political environment he went to medical school. He qualified (MB BS, and BSc) in the Punjab in 1958 (Medical College, Amritsar). After his move to the UK (1960), Jog became a strong supporter of the NHS, working in Coventry, Nottingham, London, and East Anglia. In 1970 his commitment to improving Public Health found fulfilment as a Director of Public Health, and he was awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Community Medicine in 1978.
Because he had been a DPH, he had strong views on the need for both autonomy and strong local links, in the exercise of that role and passionately supported the smaller local hospitals in the districts around Peterborough. Always an independent thinker, he looked beyond UK official policy for ideas, for example introducing an early needle exchange scheme in Peterborough in the 1980s to help control HIV after seeing such schemes in operation in Amsterdam. After retiring from public health he continued with various medical interests, including for the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture.
Jog was especially passionate about helping junior doctors, recruiting a group of Dutch doctors to Peterborough (who remained his ‘Dutch family’ to the end) and helping Trainees with particular skills, like advocacy for health, that he felt were underdeveloped in routine training.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he gave timely advice on population surveillance (e.g. monitoring sewage for spread of the virus) and on the ethics of vaccination practice.
Even when stuck in bed due to prostate cancer, he continued to compose e-letter responses to the BMJ, greatly enjoying being part of the community of other independent voices and he encouraged a group of younger colleagues to hold policy-makers to account.
Aged 90, he remained passionately interested in professional matters until the end.
(Woody Caan FFPH, January 2023)