The Medical Board of Australia has successfully applied to permanently ban disgraced Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel from ever practicing medicine in Australia.
The surgeon was convicted and jailed in Queensland in 2010 of three counts of manslaughter and one of grievous bodily harm relating to surgeries on patients, but the convictions were quashed on appeal in 2013.
The board applied to have him banned in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, saying it was important for general deterrence even though his Queensland registration had lapsed.
In handing down his decision on Friday, Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said Dr Patel’s dishonesty was to gain a benefit or advantage.
“In my view, these matters strike at the very heart of the system of registration by which it is intended that only those truly suitable and competent to do so are permitted to practise in health professions.”
Judge Horneman-Wren said the system was designed to protect the public from the “enormous risks associated with the unsuitable and incompetent being allowed to practise”.
It also facilitated the public having confidence in such professions, he said.
“One could have little, if any, confidence that he would ever in the future possess the qualities of integrity, honesty and trustworthiness so essential for the practice of medicine.”
The tribunal had heard Dr Patel didn’t tell health authorities in 2003 that he had been sanctioned in 2000 in Oregon in the US for unprofessional conduct.
He was ordered to refrain from surgery on the pancreas and liver and to obtain a second opinion for complicated surgeries.
Dr Patel moved back to the US after receiving a two-year suspended sentence in Brisbane in 2013 for lying to gain employment as a surgeon in Queensland.
The decision will also have implications for his ability to practice medicine overseas.