RCSI profiles talented distinguished graduate
Professor Dr Mohammed Rafik Gardee, MBE (Medicine, 1966) has dedicated 40 years to the compassionate practice of medicine in primary healthcare, across continents and countries, and highlighted the inequality and lack of opportunities for ethnic minorities working in the NHS.
Rafik grew up in South Africa under the apartheid regime. After high school in Johannesburg, he went on to study at RCSI in Dublin where he became President of the Student Council. After his graduation from RCSI, Rafik worked in Ireland for four years, then returned to work in South Africa in 1970 where he set up a series of well-equipped clinics, at his own cost, and soon had five separate premises, with nurses he had trained as medical assistants, seeing 80-100 patients a day.
But his work in impoverished and disenfranchised communities in rural areas, prioritising the provision of health care for the underserved non-white community, brought him to the attention of the authorities and in 1977 the regime forced him to leave the country. Rafik settled in Glasgow where he spent 30 years in the NHS transforming care for ethnic minority populations, supporting the reception of Bosnian refugees, and taught and mentored thousands of undergraduates and postgraduates.
“My father remains an inspiration for all those that have had the pleasure to know him,” said his son Dr Jameel Gardee, a partner at the Glasgow Smile Clinic. “It’s great to see that a lifetime selflessly helping people continues to be appreciated and valued and he has set the bar very high for us as a family to try and follow in his footsteps! Thanks again to the community in Ireland at the RCSI who played such great effect in moulding the role models we have today.”
Read the RCSI profile of Professor Gardee in full here.