Dr Abdul Gafoor
Dr Abdul Gafoor Image Credit: Supplied

Ajman: An Indian doctor died of a heart attack while on duty in a medical centre in Ajman on Saturday evening.

Dr Abdul Gafoor, 71, complained of chest pain while at work in Modern Medical Centre in Jurf Industrial Area at around 4pm, his colleagues said.

“He had lunch and gone for prayer and came back after a short walk. There was no patient with him when he suddenly complained of discomfort and pain,” said one doctor who did not wish to be named.

After an ECG showed fluctuation in heart beat, he was administered first aid including chest compression and oxygen before an ambulance reached, the colleagues said.

“The paramedics gave him shock [delivered with an automated external defibrillator]. But, unfortunately, he passed away before reaching the hospital,” said another doctor.

Colleagues said Dr Gafoor was under treatment for heart disease. “But, we never expected this. It’s a big loss for us and the community. Everyone is shocked and sad,” said a colleague.

The medical centre was closed on Sunday as a mark of respect and to pay tribute to Dr Gafoor, who has worked with different government hospitals and private health care facilities in Ajman for more than 40 years.

‘Poor man’s doctor’

Colleagues remembered Dr Gafoor as a soft-spoken, helpful and kindhearted person who was punctual and dedicated at work. He was known for providing free treatment to poor patients.

Hailing from the South Indian state of Kerala, Dr Gafoor had received MBBS from Armed Forces Medical College in Pune in 1972.

After finishing his internship from Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, he worked as Resident Medical Officer in a private hospital in Kerala till 1975.

His relatives said Dr Gafoor had started working in the UAE in late 70s.

He joined the UAE Ministry of Health and worked as a general practitioner in outpatient clinics.

Dr Gafoor was the Casualty Medical Officer in Sheikh Khalifa Hospital, Ajman till 1999. He had held the same position plus that of an RMO in Old Kuwait Hospital, Ajman till August 2015.

After his retirement, he continued to work with the private sector and had worked in Modern Medical Centre, a sister concern of the Metro Medical Centre, for about five years, his colleagues said.

Dr Gafoor’s funeral will be held in Ajman on Sunday afternoon, said his nephew J.J. Jalal.

He said Dr Gafoor lived with his wife and the youngest of three sons, who is a student-turned teacher at Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs in Dubai.

“The other two sons had chosen their father’s profession. But, his second son passed away in a road accident in Canada two years ago. The eldest son, who works in Oman, reached here last night.”