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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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"