Connecting over 25 millions NRIs worldwide
Most trusted Name in the NRI media
The extradition of NRI Dr. Jayant Patel from the US to Australia



Vijay Mehta, M.D.
Chief of General Thoracic and Vascular Surgery
Central Texas Veterans heath Care System
Temple, TX 76502

Message to all the victims of Dr. Patel

My heart goes out to the patients and their families who suffered at the hand of Dr. Patel. The citizens of Queensland did not deserve to be hurt by their surgeon or their health care system as they did.

But, you are victim of more than one person.

Dr. Jayant Patel:
Here is a surgeon who has a history of lack of judgment when it came to doing major surgery. The Kaiser or State of Oregon did not revoke his license but placed the restriction for major surgeries.

Many have commented that he was a bad surgeon. This is easy to say but difficult to prove.
So many of these surgeons are technically superior and even know more than average surgeons because they are addicted to doing the big surgeries. What was lacking is not the technical know how but a judgment. This is the reason that he got best teachers award or glowing recommendation from some of his peers
Unfortunately he was given the position of director of surgery at Bundaberg. Surgeons like him are not as dangerous when they are being monitored by other surgeon but putting them in a leadership position leaves their behavior totally unchecked.

The Hospital Administration:

Any one with the common sense would have asked a simple question as to if Dr. Patel is so wonderful why is he coming all the way to Australia to work, When he has family and big house in USA? The hospital system in Queensland is grossly under funded and not able to attract good physicians. The rural hospital had trouble attracting any decent physician. Here was a surgeon who loved to operate. From Dr. Patel's point of view when he was restricted from doing big surgery in Oregon and New Yourk, naturally Australia was a logical option. He loved operating more than anything else.
Who is responsible for not checking in his background thoroughly prior to his appointment? Even if he can hide his professional track record, how come simple thing like his refusal to wash the hands go for such a long time unchecked?

Your politicians:
The system is so broken that when the story leaked out they made a circus of the whole investigation. Your premier became a joke when he decided to send his man to Portland OR to flush him out. I am sure there is a better way to bring a criminal to justice.

Your media:
I guess they must be looking for a sensational story and found one. They fueled all the rumors and no one has asked a simple question as to why all these proceeding had to be a public spectacle and it preceded the report by Peer group (who could be in better position to evaluate Dr. Patel) and they did later on came up with conclusion that he had no ill will and his results are not that bad!

Media hype created victims:
The sensational accounts by some of witness without any proper cross examination contributed to declaring him guilty as charged. The peer review of his cases did not confirm all the horror stories printed in the media and promoted by your premier.

Rampant Racism:
The media has made frequent reference to "Indian trained" when referring to Dr. Patel. They fail to understand that Dr. Patel got his medical school and initial surgical training in India but he completed his surgical residency and Surgical Board in USA. Not only that but he did work for NY and Kaiser in Oregon for 19 years. During which he passed his board, received best teacher's award etc. Why keep blaming the "Indian origin"?

Backlash against Foreign Doctors:
Since Dr Patel was Indian born and USA trained it is understandable that there may be a backlash against all foreign physicians. I hope you do not forget that nearly 20 percent of your doctors are foreigners and in many cases they give state of the art care. There is no guarantee that an Australian born Australian trained doctor would not do the same thing. Being a good or bad physician is not connected to the country of origin.

Where is the check and balances?
The problem was not only that he loved doing major surgery but problem was the medical system in Australia did not have any mechanism for early detection and correction of anyone performing at an unexpected level. I am not sure if some of his bad result had to do with poor nursing care and post op support.

Workload to keep two surgeons busy:
Who will do so much work for so little? He apparently did more than 1200 surgeries in less than 2 years that a very heavy workload.

Toni is no Erin Brockowitch:
As I read the testimony of Toni the head nurse it is obvious that she is no angel. I suspect that she had an agenda from early on and was frustrated by her inability to intimidate Dr. Patel. One of the job of head nurse is to make a team to treat patient but she would tell relatives the patient's condition different from what surgeon was reporting. If she had a difference with the surgeon she needed to take it to authorities but not confuse the patients.

Your Medical system is 20years behind:
What kind of medical system do you have in Australia? One of the key case where the Toni decided Dr. Patel was incompetent was when a patient in his late forties who had esophageal cancer and the bigger hospital refused to operate on him. When Dr. Patel decided to do surgery Toni (the head nurse) decided he was a bad surgeon.
General public may not know this, but a person with esophageal cancer is basically drowning in his saliva, and I have seen even 70 year old getting surgery for palliation. What kind of Medical system you have in Australia where a head nurse decides that a surgeon is incompetent because he attempts to palliate young man with esophageal cancer. I think we need to investigate the surgeon who left him to die drowning in his saliva and the nurse who made a judgment on indication of surgery on such a patient.

A good surgeon in a poorly supported hospital can get better results than a mediocre surgeon in a well supported hospital.

All I can say is you need lot more than just bring Dr. Patel to face the justice. You need the revamping of entire health system or tragedy such as this will continue. Next time you will have surgeon who does not operate on you when you need it for the fear of being labeled "Dr. Death"