K.P. Nayar, U.S. correspondent for the Kolkata Telegraph, send me an alert for a story he wrote yesterday. Turns out an Indian doctor in Las Vegas is at the center of a huge medical scandal. As many as 40,000 people may have have been infected with Hepatitis C or HIV as a result of reused syringes and other medical materials at Dr. Dipak Desai's clinic.
The media is Nevada has been covering the story for several days as it built up from a handful of cases to
this stage. But the national media in the US has largely ignored the story so far. And Nayar is the first person in the Indian press to cover this. From his story:
An Indian American doctor is at the centre of what is emerging to be America’s biggest medical malpractice scandal.
As many as 40,000 people may have been infected with the deadly hepatitis C virus or HIV from a Las Vegas clinic, owned by Dr Dipak Desai, which has been reusing syringes and medical vials for nearly four years.
Desai, who has been practising medicine in Nevada for 28 years, is an alumnus of Gujarat University and later did his medical residency at the Catholic Medical Center in New York.
He is said to be an influential political fixer in Nevada, having made financial contributions to the election campaigns of President George W. Bush and former vice-president Al Gore, among others.
After Nevada governor Jim Gibbons won the election in 2006, Desai was a member of his transition team. He also served on the governor’s health care working group.
Local TV crews are now descending on his luxurious home with a swimming pool, spa and multiple fireplaces, for which Desai and his wife paid $3.4 million (Rs 13.6 crore) with what may now turn out to be tainted money.
In what his victims will now see as a cutting irony, Desai was a member of this board which investigates allegations against doctors. He also served as chairman of the board’s investigative committee.
Help us cover this story. Please post comments, links, leads, info below or send to saja[at]columbia.edu. We'd also like to know Desai's side of the story.