Harry Burns (doctor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sir Henry "Harry" Burns is the professor of global public health, University of Strathclyde,[1] having been the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland from September 2005 to April 2014.[2] He has become known for his work to address health inequalities.

Early life[edit]

Burns was educated at St. Aloysius College, an independent school in Glasgow.[3] In 1974 he graduated in medicine from the University of Glasgow.[2]


Burns initially pursued a career in general surgery, and for five years he was a consultant surgeon at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.[2] He then took on a managerial role as the Medical Director of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.[2] He completed a Masters Degree in Public Health in 1990.[4] He worked as deputy director of planning and contracts at Greater Glasgow in 1992, becoming the Director of public health for Greater Glasgow the following year.[5] In 1999 he was awarded a visiting professorship in public health medicine at the University of Glasgow, and he also became a senior research fellow in the School of Business and Management at the university.[2]

He took up the post of Chief Medical Officer for Scotland on 5 September 2005. In 2007 his second annual report emphasised the importance of the early years as the basis for health and wellbeing in adulthood.[6] He was co-chair of the Scottish Government's Early Years Taskforce[7] which was set up in 2011.

In January 2014 it was announced that Burns would step down as Chief Medical Officer in April 2014 to take up the appointment of Professor of global public health at Strathclyde University.[8]

In December 2014 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that Burns would join the Scottish Government Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) to help look at the issue of inequality.[9] Sturgeon also presented Burns with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Holyrood magazine’s first Scottish Public Service Awards, recognising his lasting contribution to public service in Scotland.[10]


Burns was knighted in the 2011 Birthday Honours.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Harry Burns: 'We need compassion, not judgments about poor people'". Guardian. 12 Mar 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland". The Scottish Government, Health & Community Care. 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2007. 
  3. ^ "About us:Governors: Sir Harry Burns". St. Aloysius' College. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Research: Public Health: About us". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Chief medical officer appointed". BBC News. 22 June 2005. 
  6. ^ "Action call to bridge health gap". BBC News. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "About us: Our people: Professor Sir Harry Burns". Wave trust. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sir Harry Burns to step down as chief medical officer". BBC News. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sturgeon: London brings benefits and challenges to Scotland's economy". STV News. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Mackintosh, Katie (25 December 2014). "Interview with Sir Harry Burns". Holyrood (magazine). Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59808. p. 1. 11 June 2011.
  12. ^ "Birthday Honours List 2011" (PDF). Directgov. 11 June 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2012.