Dr James Leitch

Dr James Leitch


James (Jim) Leitch was born and raised in Armidale NSW. He studied medicine at Sydney University and completed medical internship, residency and general medical training at Royal Newcastle Hospital. Specialty cardiology training was performed at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and subspecialty training in cardiac arrhythmia treatment in London, Ontario Canada under the mentorship of George Klein. He is an author of more than 81 peer reviewed articles/book chapters and is a clinical associate professor at Newcastle University. He has worked as volunteer proctor for cardiac procedures in New Zealand, India, Vietnam and Myanmar. Currently he is head of the cardiology department at John Hunter Hospital. He performs catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias and pacemaker and defibrillation implantation at John Hunter Hospital and at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital in Newcastle and provides clinical cardiology consultations at Hunter Heart.

Dr Suku Thambar


Dr Suku Thambar undertook his specialist training in cardiology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, USA. He has since lived in the Hunter region where he practices as an interventional cardiologist in the private and public sectors. Dr Thambar is a Visiting Medical Officer at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital, Newcastle Private Hospital and Mayo Private Hospital. He holds a conjoint appointment as a Senior Staff Specialist at the John Hunter Hospital and Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Newcastle.

Dr Thambar is an active clinical researcher who acknowledges the significance of research in contributing to the advancement of cardiology. His major research interests are the use of adult stem cells in the management of acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases, and the emerging technology of renal artery denervation using catheter-based radio frequency ablation to manage conditions such as resistant hypertension and heart failure.

Dr Nick Jackson


Dr Nick Jackson was born and raised in Hobart and studied medicine at the University of Tasmania. Following medical school he moved to Newcastle where he completed his training in cardiology before undertaking fellowships in cardiac electrophysiology in Newcastle, Australia and at Toronto General Hospital in Toronto, Canada. During this time he has authored over twenty peer reviewed articles and book chapters, including work on ventricular fibrillation in explanted human hearts and new mapping techniques for ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation ablation.

Dr Jackson is a conjoint lecturer with the University of Newcastle, a staff specialist at John Hunter Hospital and works in private practice to perform ablations for simple and complex cardiac arrhythmias and all forms of pacemaker and defibrillator implantation. Since returning to Newcastle he has set up the program to perform lead extractions for infected and redundant pacemaker or defibrillator leads and in 2018 took over as the director of Pacing and Electrophysiology at John Hunter Hospital. He had worked as a volunteer proctor in Myanmar performing catheter ablations and when not working he enjoys hobbies such as surfing and hiking and spending time with his family.

Dr Ruba Haddad


Dr Ruba Haddad is a clinical cardiologist and advanced heart failure and transplantation specialist. After obtaining her cardiology fellowship from Hunter New England Health, she pursued an electrophysiology and pacing fellowship followed by clinical genetics training with a focus on inherited arrhythmia. Dr Haddad then pursed a 2 year clinical/research fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation and training in inherited arrhythmia at The University of Ottawa Heart Institute, which is Canada’s largest and foremost cardiovascular health center with world class patients’ care. During her time in Canada she also gained extensive experience in pulmonary hypertension which led to a number of publications in international journals.

Particular interests include advanced heart failure and transplantation, performing right heart catheterization, endomyocardial biopsies and exercise stress tests, pulmonary hypertension, familial cadiomyopathies and inherited arrhythmias.

Our Support Staff

Hunter Hearts doctors are assisted by our wonderful support staff, Helen, Kathy, Margo, Rhonda and Carol.