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Abstract from

A Critical Analysis of Overseas-Trained Doctor (OTD) Factors in the Bundaberg Base Hospital Surgical Inquiry

Karina Harvey is a Legal Officer, Australian Government Attorney-Generalís Department, Canberra, Australia.

Thomas Faunce is a Senior Lecturer, Law Faculty and Medical School Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

This article explores one of the most intriguing and hitherto largely unexplored aspects of healthcare quality and safety investigations in Australia: the role of a protagonistís status as an overseas-trained doctor (OTD). The topic is controversial, not the least because of the growing importance of OTDs in maintaining basic health services in some areas of Australia, but also due to the difficulty of teasing genuine quality and safety problems in this context from possible racial or xenophobic concerns. As a case study, we will explore the problems associated with Dr Jayant Patel at the Bundaberg Base Hospital (BBH) in Queensland. The article concludes by making recommenda­tions for improving healthcare quality and safety in this area.

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