U.S. Medical board votes to discipline ‘Doctor Death’ under investigation in Australia

United States state medical board has voted unanimously to discipline a disgraced surgeon linked to the deaths of 88 patients in Australia, the board's executive director said Friday.

The surgeon, Dr. Jayant Patel, was hired by the rural Bundaberg Base Hospital in eastern Queensland state in April 2003, despite having been cited for negligence by medical boards in the U.S. states of Oregon and New York.

He is now the focus of civil and criminal investigations in Queensland that have linked him to the deaths of 88 patients over two years, including 13 patients who allegedly died as a direct result of his treatment.

Kathleen Haley, the executive director of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners, said the 10 board members present at Thursday's session voted unanimously to take disciplinary action against Patel in that state.

"The Board of Medical Examiners voted today to take him to discipline," Haley told The Associated Press by telephone.

Possible actions could include a fine, suspension or revocation of Patel's medical license in Oregon, Haley said.

Prior to coming to Australia, Patel dubbed "Dr. Death" by some of his former colleagues had a 20-year history of botched operations and malpractice claims that Queensland authorities failed to detect before allowing him to practice, reports the AP.


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