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Biographical entry Subramaniam, Navaratnam (1934 - 1991)

MRCS and FRCS 1970; MB BS Ceylon 1959; FRCS Edinburgh 1969.

4 April 1934
Jaffna, Ceylon
14 January 1991


Navaratnam Subramaniam was the son of Shanmugam Navaratnam, an official of the Malaysian Railways, and of Achchimuthu, née Sinnathamby. He was born on 4 April 1934 in Jaffna, Ceylon, and was educated at Victoria College and Jaffna College, where he matriculated in 1953. He studied medicine at the University of Ceylon, where he qualified MB BS in 1959.

Subsequently he held appointments as an intern and then as a house officer at the General Hospital in Kandy, as house surgeon at Trincomalee and then neurosurgical house surgeon in the General Hospital, Colombo. He then spent two years as surgical registrar to Professor Kirthi Singha FRCS in the University of Ceylon, followed by a year in orthopaedics at the Colombo General Hospital.

In 1968 he came to England for two years to study for the FRCS, with attachments to regional neurosurgical centres at the Atkinson Morley and Middlesbrough Hospitals and the Preston Royal Infirmary.

After obtaining the FRCS in 1970 he returned home as consultant neurosurgeon to establish a neurosurgical unit at the General Hospital in Jaffna; he subsequently moved to the General Hospital, Kandy, in 1975 and to the General Hospital, Colombo, in 1981. He contributed two articles to the Ceylon Medical Journal between 1962 and 1963 on aneurysm of the internal carotid artery and extradural haematoma.

In his youth he enjoyed tennis and athletics, and he also wrote articles, poetry and books, usually about Tamil literature and Hinduism. He married Kamalawathie, a State Registered Nurse, on 29 June 1962 and they had two daughters, Kumudhini, and Padmini, who became a doctor.

He died on 14 January 1991, aged 56.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England