Victory for brave nurse and MP

Rob Messenger looks on as Toni Hoffman speaks of her emotions after hearing Patel was found guilty.
Rob Messenger looks on as Toni Hoffman speaks of her emotions after hearing Patel was found guilty. Scottie Simmonds

THE pair responsible for bringing Jayant Patel to the attention of authorities were overcome with joy last night.

Nurse Toni Hoffman and Member for Burnett Rob Messenger embraced one another smiling after a jury found Patel guilty of all charges.

Ms Hoffman said the verdict was a victory for everyone involved in the case.

“I feel disbelief really and I'm just so so grateful that in Australia we can still have justice,” she said.

“This is a huge victory for patient safety, for patient advocacy and for standing up and speaking out for what's right and I think there are huge lessons to learn.”

The whistleblower said while she had plenty of people to thank for bringing Patel to justice, the patients needed to be recognised.

“There are a lot of patients we haven't heard anything about that have died and suffered because of this man all over the world,” she said.

“I feel sorry they went through what they went through and we didn't manage to stop it earlier.”

Mr Messenger said Ms Hoffman deserved recognition for speaking out.

“We need to learn lessons from the Dr Death saga,” he said.

“From properly treating whistleblowers and looking after them instead of chasing them and vilifying them, through to proper care for patients.”

Mr Messenger said he was relieved to see the end of the trial.

“I feel very happy for all the victims and I feel very happy I am able to say the word victim because for so long we weren't able to speak out about this,” he said.

“Most people forget there were at least 87 deaths on his watch and at least 1500 people that he treated so there are many more people apart from the families of the three dead men and also Mr Vowles. So many more people will be very, very happy tonight.”

Queensland Nurses Union Bundaberg regional organiser Vicki Smith said she was thankful a guilty verdict was reached.

“I just feel glad that it has come to this and they finally got a verdict they deserve for all the hard work and stress our members have gone through over the years,” she said.

“They may never have hoped there would be a guilty verdict and now they can put it all behind them.”

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