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Book on Indian surgeon's scandal hits Australian stores

J Patel found himself amidst a controversy in 2005 and was linked to 17 deaths.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2007 14:17 IST

A new book detailing the scandal involving India born surgeon Jayant Patel, who has been linked to 17 deaths, has hit book stores Sydney.

Authoring the Sick to Death is Hedley Thomas, an investigative reporter who first broke the story about Patel's negligence at the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia, after a hospital nurse blew the whistle.

Patel found himself at the centre of a major controversy in early 2005 and was linked to 17 deaths and dozens of injuries at the hospital. He was nicknamed 'Doctor Death' by the Australian media. Patel later fled to the US.

The book portrays Patel as an arrogant psychopath who constantly undertook surgery far beyond his competence.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, the book gives an account of the Queensland government's failure to support the public health system and its attempts to cover up the Patel scandal.

The scandal fetched Thomas the 2005 Walkley Award for (print) news reporting.