US surgeon faces negligence charges in Australia

An American doctor charged with manslaughter in the deaths of three patients at a rural Australian hospital repeatedly botched operations and performed surgeries he was not capable of handling, a prosecutor said Monday. In his opening statement in the pre-trial hearing of Jayant Patel, prosecutor Ross Martin also said the doctor lied on his application to Bundaberg Base Hospital by neglecting to reveal he had been reprimanded by medical boards in the United States. Patel is charged with 16 counts including manslaughter, causing grievous bodily harm and negligence relating to his job as director of surgery between 2003 and 2005 at the state-run hospital in Bundaberg town,370 kilometers north of Brisbane and faces life in prison if convicted. Patel has not entered a plea or spoken publicly about the accusations.