It should be noted that Kaiser Permanente vigorously defended Dr. Death Jayant Patel in malpractice cases that were filed against him during his tenure at Kaiser. They only took action after several people had been harmed and revictimized by Kaiser lawyers in the rigged Kaiser arbitration process. Several recommendations were also made by colleagues at Kaiser, which enabled Patel to procure his position in Australia (links at the end of this story)
Arrest warrants issued for U.S. doctor
11/22/2006, 9:16 a.m. PT
The Associated Press
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) ? A court issued warrants Wednesday for the arrest of an Oregon surgeon on three charges of manslaughter and five charges of causing grievous bodily harm to patients at an Australian public hospital, officials said.
A government inquiry found that Jayant Patel of Portland may have contributed directly to 13 deaths due to an “unacceptable level of care” at Bundaberg Base Hospital in the state of Queensland while he was director of surgery there from 2003 to 2005.
The warrants, issued at the request of police in a closed-court hearing, are the first step in an official extradition process.
An extradition request must go through Australia’s federal attorney general and then would be forwarded to the U.S. Justice Department. A hearing in a U.S. court would be held, and Patel could appeal an extradition order.
State Premier Peter Beattie told Australian broadcasters that Patel would likely not be extradited before 2007.
Patel was hired at Bundaberg, a farming town 190 miles north of Brisbane, without disclosing that he had been disciplined for negligence by medical boards in Oregon and New York, according to Australian authorities.
Patel, born and trained in India and now a U.S. citizen, left Australia in April last year and has refused to publicly discuss the allegations against him.
He did not respond to a phone message left at his Portland home Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the FBI in Portland, Beth Anne Steele, said the case is still in the hands of Australian officials.
In June, Patel signed an order from the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners that suspended his Oregon license indefinitely and bars him from applying for a medical license in any state.
Under the agreement, his license will remain suspended until he proves “that the criminal and administrative process against him in Australia is complete.”
Patel was a surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in Portland from 1989 to 2001. After an internal investigation, Kaiser restricted him from doing complex operations in 1998. The Board of Medcical Examiners disciplined him for negligence in 2000.
He was sued for malpractice or wrongful death eight times during his time at Kaiser. Kaiser settled five of those suits, paying out $1.8 million in two.