A DUDLEY doctor says people in deprived areas may be missing out on vital heath care.

GP Dr Richard Bramble, who ran a medical centre in Kates Hill before its closure in February, is now a partner at Netherton Surgery and he is keen for ex-patients to join his new practice.

Smoking, drinking, poor diet and lack of exercise are all associated with less affluent areas and the Netherton medic aims to focus on prevention rather than cure.

He said: “Both branches are within easy reach of my old patch so my old patients can come and register if they want to.

“We have a lovely balanced team here: young and old, male and female, very multi-ethnic and multi-lingual.”

Dr Bramble’s previous experience includes spending seven years working in the Middle East until he was forced to leave as tensions mounted ahead of the Arab Spring.

During his time in Yemen, the poorest country in the region, he worked to improve peoples’ health by building links with community groups and mosques.

He said: “Treating people is great, but teaching people to keep themselves healthy is even better.

“If you have a pound to spend on health it is better to spend it on prevention, general practice services are not just about treatment.

“It is also pro-active, cholesterol and blood pressure tests, managing the risks of heart disease, flu jabs and smear tests for women.”

Netherton Surgery has branches next to Midnight Pharmacy, Halesowen Road, Netherton and in Hazel Road on Dudley’s Priory estate.