Patel broadcast a win for many

THE broadcasting of former Bundaberg Hospital surgeon Jayant Patel's trial in the city is a big win for virtually everybody connected with the case.

That Justice John Byrne saw fit to order the trial be shown here - only the third time a case has been broadcast in Queensland - is a reflection of the huge public interest in the matter.

There will be many people who will want to keep track of the trial's progress, but will be unable to commit the time or money to be in court in Brisbane for the duration of what will already be a hugely expensive trial.

This allows them to still feel a part of the case without having to leave town or, for some alleged victims, without having to cope with the confronting nature of being in the courtroom itself.

It also shows an unusual willingness of the court system to open up its proceedings to cameras.

Perhaps the only organisation not celebrating the Supreme Court's decision may be Bundaberg Hospital, which will have to sit through close public scrutiny of its procedures and policies.

But given the great public good that can result from such scrutiny and consequent overhaul of practices, this may be the trial we had to have.

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