Australia's chief medical officer deported from Nauru

Leslie Hanson
October 19, 2018

The prime minister defended the level of medical care provided to asylum seekers on Nauru, saying there 65 were health professionals contracted by the Australian government to provide health services, including 33 mental health professionals.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering support for Nauru refugees.

The deportation of the Australian doctor also follows Medecins Sans Frontieres calling for urgent evacuations from the island, and sharing emotional and detailed analysis the mental health conditions of the asylum seekers and refugees on the island.

Ardern raised the issue with Nauru President Baron Waqa when she was on Nauru for the Pacific Islands Forum last month.

An IHMS spokeswoman told News Corp Dr Montana was stood down yesterday "for a breach of Regional Processing Centre rules".

If the minister refuses a transfer, a second medical opinion must be sought to ensure the decision is predicated on medicaladvice.

The Department of Home Affairs refused to comment on the matter this morning beyond confirming a replacement senior medical officer was in Nauru and that there would be "no impact" to the care of asylum seekers on the island.

The ABC said it understood the Australian Government planned to call for a vote this week on the legislation.

He said children were in a "catatonic state" and self-harming.

The group said at least 78 patients it had seen in detention over the past year had contemplated suicide or self harm.

The worldwide group Medicins Sans Frontieres was told earlier this month by officials in Nauru that mental health services must cease and their presence was no longer welcomed.

"If Malcolm Turnbull was able to negotiate conditions for the U.S. deal to proceed, why is Scott Morrison incapable of negotiating similar conditions for the NZ deal?"

Families, a parent or guardian would be transferred to Australia while the child underwent treatment.

Morrison told reporters that there was now no majority support for the bill.

The Centre Alliance party, which controls two crossbench votes, said it remained opposed to the bill as it now stood, but was willing to negotiate.

She insisted the government hadn't only become open to the plan after political pressure from its own ranks or ahead of the Wentworth by-election.

"There is a bill still sitting in the Senate from 2016 that would close the back door from New Zealand to Australia, which is opposed by the Labor party and the Greens and the crossbench senators preventing that protection being put in place", he said.

Earlier this week, Labor leader Bill Shorten wrote to Mr Morrison to say the current situation on Nauru was "untenable" and a solution was needed.

"We're going to have to consider whether or not, as a result of our 2013 commitment (to offer to take 150 refugees from Nauru), we end up with people who are second-class citizens in New Zealand".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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