Brisbane (Australia), Jul 20: As Doctor Jayant Patel is expected to land in Australia on Monday, his former patients are scrambling to get from Bundaberg to Brisbane. Patel will arrive in Brisbane around 6 am. (AEST). US marshals are expected to hand him over to two Queensland detectives in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 20 night.
The detectives will escort Dr Patel on to a Qantas flight that departs from Los Angeles at 11.20 pm. local time (1620 AEST Sunday). Dr Patel is currently being held at LA's Metropolitan Detention Centre. He is due to face 13 charges, including manslaughter, stemming from his time as director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital from 2003 to 2005. It is expected that Patel will be taken to the Brisbane watchhouse soon after his arrival, before being charged inside the Brisbane Magistrate's Court.
Bundaberg Hospital Patients Support Group spokeswoman Beryl Crosby said the news was a great relief to her, but she was now in a panic trying to organise transport to Brisbane to be in the courtroom.
"Obviously instant relief, and probably panic now how I'm getting to Brisbane,'' she told The Age.
"I was actually booked on tomorrow night's train out of Bundaberg, and there's no night train tonight so we're trying to figure out a way of getting there,'' she added.
Two other members of the group will also make the trip with Crosby. She is likely to be by road. The trio expect to commute between the two cities regularly over the coming months.