Ipswich: Former Ipswich Hospital consultant loses battle with cancer


Touching tributes have been paid to a much-loved former Ipswich Hospital consultant.

Dr Anthony Promnitz, who lived in Ipswich, died at the age of 57 on June 27 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr Promnitz took up a post at Ipswich Hospital as consultant physician in respiratory and general medicine in 2003. He remained there until he was forced to take early retirement in August 2012 due to his illness.

His companion, Barry Sproat, said: “He was a keen runner, swimmer, a great cook – he loved life. He was an incredibly multi-talented person.

“Anthony was totally dedicated to the NHS and the South African health care system.

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“He was a medical socialist. He did not like the idea of private practice.

“He loved and cared for his patients and that shaped his career.”

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One of four brothers, Dr Promnitz qualified as a medical doctor in his native city in 1979. He soon specialised in respiratory medicine and worked in various hospitals in South Africa, including the largest one in the southern hemisphere in Soweto.

He emigrated to the UK in 1996 and worked at the Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Scotland as a consultant physician. In 1999 he moved to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon where he established its first independent chest clinic, linked to Papworth Hospital.

At Ipswich Hospital he took an interest in looking after patients with HIV and also ran the TB clinic.

In February 2011 he was diagnosed with advanced aggressive prostate cancer. He died at St Elizabeth Hospice.

Friend and former colleague, Professor Michelle Wong, principal specialist physician and pulmonologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, said: “Anthony was the consummate doctor – professional, ethical and compassionate in his dealings with his patients; an astute and wise, yet humble clinician; and a friend and mentor to his staff.

“His untimely death is an immense loss to all who had the privilege to know him.”

There will be a Funeral Mass to celebrate his life at 12.30pm on Thursday, July 18 at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich. It is preferred that black clothing is not worn. Flowers or donations to St Elizabeth Hospice are welcome via Farthing, Singleton & Hastings, 650 Woodbridge Road. Ipswich, IP4 4PW.

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