NHS geriatrician, who authored book on Sri Lanka, dies of Covid-19

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai (Courtesy: Kingston Hospital)
Dr Anton Sebastianpillai (Courtesy: Kingston Hospital)

An “hugely respected” NHS geriatrician and author has died, four days after being hospitalised due to Covid-19 symptoms.

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, who was in his 70s, died on Saturday at Kingstong Hospital, which he served for long as a consultant.

The Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said his last day on duty was March 20.

“It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of a consultant geriatrician who was part of the team at Kingston Hospital,” it said.

“Dr Anton Sebastianpillai died on Saturday having been cared for in the hospital’s intensive care unit since 31 March.

“We would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.”

Dr Sebastianpillai had graduated in medicine in Sri Lanka in 1967. Besides medical books, his A Complete Illustrated History of Sri Lanka had been well-received.

The Sri Lankan High Commission in London hailed him as a “distinguished alumnus” of Peradeniya University’s medical school.

The Royal College of Physicians tweeted: “It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Dr Anton Sebastianpillai who died on Saturday, another valued member of the RCP family.”

Acting leader of Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, who represents Kingston and Surbiton in Parliament, said: “I was privileged to meet him & discuss the NHS & Tamil history Anton is hugely respected as a consultant & author: his Illustrated History of Sri Lanka is world class.”

Initial reports said Dr Sebastianpillai had “returned” to the NHS, but the hospital trust clarified that he had not taken retirement and was serving patients.

British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul told Sky News on Wednesday morning that 10 doctors had died in the UK after testing positive for Covid-19.