width=238Surgeon, Jayant Patel faced an Australian court on charges ranging from manslaughter to grievous bodily harm relating to his time as a surgeon in Queensland hospital five years ago.

Australian health authorities hired Patel, despite allegations for negligence in the US states of Oregon and New York, which he pleaded as not guilty.

Backlash against the overseas-trained doctors, especially Indian doctors started as a result of the shocking tales that portrayed Patel as a monster.

Patel, 59, was initially alleged to have been linked to the deaths of 87 patients, but the government panel reported that he might have contributed to the deaths of only eight patients and saved the lives of five other patients following blunders made by others at Bundaberg, north of Brisbane.

Extradited from the United States in 2008, Patel could face life in prison, if convicted. Despite the publicity the case has generated, and demonization of Patel, the jury was urged to remain impartial.

Beryl Crosby, spokeswoman for Bundaberg Hospital Patients Support Group said she was relieved Patel was finally on trial.

We've been waiting a long time for this day to begin. It will be justice and some closure. Now we must be patient and let the judicial system take its course, said Ms Crosby.