Mental Hospital Finds Dr. Desai Competent - 8 News NOW

Mental Hospital Finds Dr. Desai Competent

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LAS VEGAS -- Dr. Dipak Desai turned his back on 8 News NOW cameras last year when criminal charges were filed against him for the hepatitis C outbreak.

He's also accused of turning his back on the patients he was supposed to heal. In February, doctors found the disgraced physician not competent to stand trial because of strokes he suffered.

"I think many of us held the view that it was just too convenient that he'd be found incompetent at that point in time," said attorney Peter Wetherall, who represents patients in a civil case against Desai. "We feared that it was yet another manipulation of the system by someone who has vast wealth and great power."

Word is quickly spreading that doctors at the state facility where Desai has been evaluated in recent months now say his health permits him to stand trial.

While the Southern Nevada Health District has positively linked nine hepatitis cases to Desai's clinics, Wetherall represents 36 patients who say they were also infected. He also represents hundreds more who are suing, because they may have been exposed to dangerous and potentially deadly diseases.

"They may never see full vindication for the harm that's been done to them, but it'd be some comfort to know that Dr. Desai and others who are responsible for causing this are being held accountable," Wetherall said.

Investigators say the condemned clinics reused vials and syringes. For Desai's former patients who are now infected with hepatitis C, they hope justice delayed won't be justice denied.

"I feel it was a tactic," said former Desai patient Patty Aspinwall. "It was very upsetting. I feel like all of us patients, all of us victims that have had to go through this the last four years, we want to feel like our story is going to be told."

Desai and two of his associates face 28 felony charges, including racketeering, negligence, and insurance fraud. He will be brought back to Las Vegas, where a judge will review those doctor recommendations and determine if he is fit for trial.

Desai's attorney could not be reached for comment.

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