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Originally Posted At: http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,12848753%255E3102,00.html
Trail leads to luxury mansion
THIS is Dr Death.
The Courier-Mail has tracked down Dr Jayant Patel to a million-dollar mansion in the leafy suburbs of Portland, Oregon.
The Indian-trained doctor who fled Queensland after being linked to several deaths and injuries at Bundaberg Hospital refused to answer questions yesterday when confronted by The Courier-Mail.
"My attorney has told me not to say anything," Dr Patel said as he retreated into his home.
It is unclear whether Dr Patel had returned to work as a surgeon in Portland but inquiries have revealed he is still registered as a surgeon in the northwestern American state.
The Courier-Mail also has uncovered a damning report showing 55-year-old Dr Patel has been involved in the deaths of patients for more than 10 years.
As far back as 1994, some nine years before the Queensland Medical Board allowed him to practise surgery in Australia, Dr Patel's actions led to the death of a patient in Oregon – the first of three Oregon patients who died after he operated on them.
In Australia Dr Patel, the director of surgery at Bundaberg on a package worth $200,000 a year, made the most of his stint in Wide Bay. He lived in a spacious apartment near the waterfront at Bargara. Local retailers recall a smiling, plump man with a swarthy look and a distinctive American accent.
Oregon Board of Medical Examiners' documents obtained by The Courier-Mail detail Dr Patel's involvement in the deaths of three patients and the permanent injury to another.
The board documents also say Dr Patel's actions violated the Oregon Medical Practice Act and he engaged in unprofessional or dishonourable conduct and gross or repeated acts of negligence.
Among the cases that led to the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners' findings in November 2000 were:
• A man, 65, who died in November 1994 two days after Dr Patel performed pancreatic surgery. He had seven litres of blood in his abdomen.
• A woman, 83, who died in November 1996 of post-operative complications, seven days after Dr Patel performed pancreatic and colon surgery. She was found with a litre of blood in her abdomen.
• A man, 67, who died in September 1997 the day after Dr Patel performed liver surgery. He had almost two litres of blood in his abdomen.
• A man, 59, who permanently lost gastrointestinal function in August 1997 after Dr Patel performed a colostomy "backwards".
Dr Patel's involvement in the deaths and injury were uncovered by an inquiry by the private Portland hospital where he was working and the incidents had occurred.
In 1998, the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Hospital became concerned about Dr Patel's conduct and reviewed 79 of his patient files.
The hospital banned Dr Patel from carrying out surgery involving the pancreas and restrictions were placed on him performing surgery on the liver and ileoanal pouches.
The hospital also implemented mandatory second opinions on all complicated surgeries and filed a report with US authorities.
That June 1998 notification led to the Board of Examiners investigation and subsequent finding against Dr Patel.
On November 1, 2000, Dr Patel was issued with a statewide ban on performing any pancreatic surgery and restrictions were placed on liver and ileoanal procedures.
But a few months after that finding, Dr Patel was practising surgery in New York, before an April 2001 order from the New York Board for Professional Medical Conduct forced him to surrender his physician's licence.Less than two years later, he was a surgeon at Bundaberg Hospital.