'Red tape hindering Indian born surgeon's extradition'
Feb 2, 2007 - 1:19:09 PM

Sydney, Feb 2 - Red tape was preventing the extradition of Indian-born surgeon Jayant Patel to Australia from the US, according to a spokeswoman representing the patients.

'Extradition application delay had been caused by relevant paperwork not being sent by Queensland's Director of Public Prosecutions office,'

Beryl Crosby, spokeswoman for the Bundaberg Patients' Support Group, said.

Jayant Patel found himself at the centre of a political scandal in early 2005 when he was accused of gross incompetence and linked to 17 deaths while working at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia.

Crosby said she told frustrated victims in Bundaberg that authorities were no closer in getting Patel extradited from the US to face charges in Australia, according to the Courier Mail newspaper.

'We know the extradition is going to take a long, long time but the fact that it hasn't even started yet two months after they said it would is damn frustrating,' she said.

Patel studied medicine in India and there after went to US, where the first complain against him was made in 1984, when he was found not to be examining patients adequately before surgery.

Due to concerns over his work, he was restricted from carrying out certain types of operations - such as liver and pancreatic surgeries - in the US.

Later, Patel's US medical license was terminated.

Patel's case has raised concerns over the recruitment of overseas doctors in rural parts of Australia, where there is a current shortage of medical personnel.

In November 2006 a Queensland magistrate signed warrants for Dr Patel on a number of charges, including three of manslaughter and five of causing grievous bodily harm.

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