Jay Woogara

Jay Woogara was born during the British Colonial rule of Mauritius into a poverty-stricken Hindu family. His father died when he was three years old leaving his Dadi (paternal grandmother) and Ma with four children all under age of ten. The majority of the villagers were labourers and the men, women and children worked for the French white farmers. The Hindu caste system predominated, and discrimination in favour of the Creole Christians was rife. From an early age Jay was determined to shake off the shackle of poverty and, through education, reach a level playing field.

Despite working in the sugarcane fields and being thrown out of fee-paying secondary school, he succeeded in gaining three GCE’s Ordinary Level which enabled him to gain entrance into England in 1966 and to train as a nurse. In spite of racial discrimination, he climbed the promotion ladder as a nurse teacher and later a senior University lecturer.

Since his hope was always to see fairness and justice for the patients and ethnic minority group alike, he studied law. After being called to the bar, he embarked on lecturing in the field of clinical negligence to doctors, nurses and other health workers. During the years 2000 – 2004 Jay undertook research as part of his PhD to determine the extent to which health practitioners respect the dignity and privacy of patients in the hospital. Key aspects of his recommendations have been implemented throughout NHS settings In 2014 he was elected as a Governor at Royal Surrey County Hospital. In that capacity he helped to shape various health policies. He also ensured that the Directors were held accountable for their actions.

In Spring 2023 Palewell Press published his memoir From Sugarcane to Surrey

Camilla Reeve, Senior Editor

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