Xavier Nalletamby has been elected chairman of the Brighton and Hove transitional GP Consortium.
About 135 of some 400 eligible family doctors, practice nurses and practice managers voted in the contest for the £90,000-a-year role.
The majority chose Dr Nalletamby, of St Peter’s Medical Centre, in Oxford Street, Brighton, who has worked locally for 25 years.
Dr Manas Sikdar, of Albion Street Surgery in Albion Street, Brighton, was runner up.
The job, which is expected to take three days a week, is crucial to the government’s proposed reforms of the National Health Service.
The new chairman will be expected to be the public voice of Brighton and Hove GPs and to be able to explain the reforms affecting the NHS.
The reforms are contained in the Health and Social Care Bill.
Prime Minister David Cameron said this week that the bill would be put on hold for a few months while the government conducted a listening exercise.
Many in the medical profession have concerns about the reforms, even those who believe that the present arrangements need to be improved.
The Conservatives’ coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, have expressed opposition to the reforms.
And before the general election last year the Tories promised no more top-down reforms of the NHS, which has been reorganised several times over the past 20 years.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said that his reforms would bring greater public accountability to the NHS.
He also said that it would give family doctors – GPs – a much stronger role in deciding what services were necessary and how much they should cost.
One reason for this is that ministers want fewer patients treated in hospitals because they believe that it is cheaper and sometimes more effective to treat them at or nearer to home.
At the moment GPs operate as individuals and by surgery, with spending and commissioning decisions taken by each area’s primary care trust (PCT).
The government wants to abolish PCTs – and the regional strategic health authorities (SHAs) – in part to save money on administration.
Locally, the GP consortium will take on much of the work of Brighton and Hove City Teaching PCT – also known as NHS Brighton and Hove – when it is abolished.
The South East Coast SHA based in Horley is also due to be scrapped.
Before he was elected Dr Nalletamby said that he would work to “improve communication and efficiency”.
Dr Nalletamby said: ““We need to restart a GP discussion forum in some form and an interface with our consultant colleagues.
“Patients need to be consulted better through practice-based patient participation groups and this work has already begun.
“We will need to explore and expand the ways in which we communicate with the public.
“Like the rest of the public sector, we must reduce waste and our spending has to buy more.
“There cannot be any reduction in quality.
“We have to tackle some of the wasteful inefficiencies in the health system which we all know about but have not had the support to resolve.”
The election was organised by the local medical committee (LMC).
Dr Julius Parker, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex LMCs, wrote to those eligible to vote to say that Dr Nalletamby had won.
A spokesman said: “It is not LMC policy to provide the numbers of votes cast per candidate.”