Why Fermanagh’s a great place to live and work

“THE style of life here is the best in Northern Ireland, and maybe in the UK.”

That’s the assessment of former senior consultant surgeon at the SWAH, Essam Ghareeb, who is originally from Egypt and moved to Fermanagh in the mid 1990s and set up his life here.

Mr Ghareeb believes fellow consultants from across the world would find the county just as wonderful a place to live and work as he has.


He also feels the Western Trust has not been doing enough to promote the area as such, noting the previous Sperrins Lakeland Trust had gone to great lengths to sell the county.

“It’s amazing, that’s why we brought people here from everywhere,” said Mr Ghareeb, speaking of recruitment efforts in the past.

“People from Cambridge, Oxford, and all universities in the UK and in the south of Ireland, all wanted to work here.”

Among the many aspects of life in Fermanagh he highlighted was the stunning natural environment, the friendly nature of local people, the safety, and the fact doctors don’t face the same long commutes to work like in England and elsewhere.

Mr Ghareeb also pointed to the lifestyle in Fermanagh, with so many activities available for families, from sailing to sports to fishing, and the quality of local schools.

“The same consultant in England would be paying I don’t know how many thousand a year just for their child to go to school,” he said, noting local schools were of the same quality as fee paying schools across the water.

He believed older people loved the county too.


“Fermanagh is the most attractive place for people from England to come after retirement and stay,” he said.

Dismissing the claim doctors would not want to work in a small hospital like the SWAH, as they would not see enough cases to maintain their skills, Mr Ghareeb urged the Trust to do much more to promote both the hospital and the area to prospective consultants.

He said when, as director of surgery, he was involved in recruitment the first thing he did was talk to the candidates about the quality of life here.

“You’re not trying to employ a person to come to a job only,” he said. “They are moving their family and looking to the future here.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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