A gastroenterologist has told the Brisbane manslaughter trial of former Bundaberg-based surgeon Jayant Patel that regional hospital medical staff are often treated as "second-class" by their city counterparts.
Patel has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing pensioner Mervyn Morris, who died three weeks after he had his sigmoid colon removed in 2003.
Defence witness Dr Johan van den Bogaerde is a gastroenterologist at the Nambour Hospital.
He told the Supreme Court in Brisbane today of problems during his experience working in regional and rural hospitals, including Albury-Wodonga in Victoria.
They included getting examinations done, transferring patients and communicating with staff in big centres.
He said whenever he phoned hospitals in Melbourne to arrange a transfer, he and other staff were treated as not up to scratch.
Dr van den Bogaerde also told the court, quite often there was not a bed available.