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Robert Milne (“Rab”) was in general practice in Kirkliston for over 30 years. Initially a single handed practitioner, he subsequently took on partners and was largely responsible for the planning, development, and move in 2003 to the new health centre in that town. In the early 1990s he was instrumental in developing fundholding and subsequently total purchasing (one of the first Scottish practices to so do).A calm and reasonable negotiator, he was much in demand as a spokesman for general practice with Lothian Health Board. His surgical skills were well used in the vasectomy service of West Lothian. He was an appraiser of colleagues for the Royal College of General Practitioners and brought to that responsible task a high measure of understanding and tact. In 1998 he was awarded fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Rab was born into a medical environment, the son of J C (“Jock”) Milne, a dynamic and colourful general surgeon at Bangour General Hospital outside Edinburgh. Schooling at Gordonstoun was followed by medical studies at Edinburgh University, where he graduated in 1965. An early training in surgery led to the achievement of FRCSEd in 1965. However, surgery was not for him and he decided on a life in general practice. Shortly after he went with his wife and two young sons to take up a general practitioner/surgeon post in rural New South Wales. During his time there he learnt to fly and passed his pilot's licence. After three years the family returned to Scotland and shortly after to the practice in Kirkliston, where Rab was in active practice up to the time of his death. He was much respected by his patients and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
He leaves his wife, Judith; sons Craig, Stuart, and David; and six grandchildren.