Bundaberg, Australia (CNN) -- Dr. Jayant Patel says he is broke. Many of his former patients, who refer to him as "Dr. Death," have little sympathy.
Five years ago, as director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia, Patel earned a six-figure salary. Today, he says he can't afford to appeal his recent criminal convictions.
In July, the 60-year-old surgeon was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, for the manslaughter of three patients and causing grievous bodily harm to a fourth.
It was the culmination of a story that started with the concerns of "a nurse who put her neck on the line," says Hedley Thomas, a reporter at "The Australian" newspaper.
"And then it developed very quickly into one of the biggest stories in Australian medical history."
Nurse Toni Hoffman says "alarm bells were ringing" just weeks after Patel's arrival in 2003.
Video: 'Dr. Death
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