To Orwell Today, re: Jura Calling

Hi Jackie,

I'm a Ph.D. geographer living permanently on the Isle of Jura and working at the Feolin Centre cataloguing and creating a digital archive of the island's cultural, biological and scientific information.

The island at present is facing a predicament exactly as George Orwell did many years ago, that being inadequate health care. As vast as Jura is, after the last doctor retired we have had to make do with a locum doctor; this will be phased out shortly.

The Jura community is outraged that the NHS has isued only two small text advetisements and pushed the idea that the island can be serviced from nearby Islay (another island) - which may or may not be accessible due to weather conditions precluding a small ferry operating.

We would appreciate any help you could think of, or ideas. Thanks in advance.

Dr. Gary McKay, RGS RSGS NGS
Feolin Study Centre, Isle of Jura

PS - My wife and I have recently had a baby boy, so the doctor issue is a little more important to me of course!

Greetings Gary,

I think I know exactly where you are located, having been to Jura myself this past August. I snapped a photo of the house in Feolin from the ferry as we were sailing through the Islay Channel. You can see it toward the end of my Journey to Orwell's Jura story on the website.

Yes, during Orwell's time on Jura he experienced a couple of medical emergencies, once when his son Richard hurt his head and needed stitches, and another time when Orwell was suffering a severe tuberculosis attack. But at least there was a doctor at Craighouse, if I recall correctly, although a specialist from Glasgow had to attend to Orwell.

Actually, it's not just in Jura that communities are having problems enticing doctors to come and practice. Here in Canada many small towns are without doctors now and hospitals are closing and being replaced with clinics manned by nurses and computers. Doctors are specializing in the main, and going to the larger cities and into privately-run establishments. Medicine, like everything else, is becoming a money-making racket catering to those with cash to pay for services rendered. Human beings are less important than research labs and high-tech gadgets it seems. In Canada the government is appealing to foreign doctors to come and attend to our ageing population.

There's not much I can do to assist you in attracting a doctor to Jura, other than to post your request on my website and hope that an Orwell Fan doctor will be inspired to visit and he or she will fall madly in love with the scenery and lifestyle and decide to stay - like Orwell did.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Jakob is a doctor interested in working on island of Jura

Martyn is interested in being a GP on Jura


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~