• 25 OCT 18
    • 0
    Doctors furious as Morrison “turns his back” on kids left behind

    Doctors furious as Morrison “turns his back” on kids left behind

    Furious doctors condemn PM Morrison for ‘turning his back’ on critically ill children as details released of health crisis facing 52 kids left behind on Nauru.

    Today for the first time, health information has been released detailing the disturbing condition of critically ill children that the Morrison Government has left behind on Nauru.

    One in four of the children remaining on Nauru are suicidal.

    Toddlers who were born into detention on Nauru are suffering developmental delays including problems with their sight and simple activities like walking.

    Released health information reveals that:

    • 1 in 4 children are acutely suicidal
    • 7 cases reviewed and found to be critical by Australian doctors, and lawyers are to seek urgent injunctions for medical transfer to Australia
    • A further 22 cases have been flagged for urgent written independent medical opinions by Australian doctors.

    Child Psychiatrist, Dr Julie Stone has reviewed many of the children’s medical cases and holds grave concerns for their welfare.

    Dr Stone said: “Every child I have reviewed is in urgent need of medical care, specialist intervention and treatment.”

    “The children’s parents are extremely concerned and they are right to be. No child can spend 5 years in such a hopeless environment without their health and well-being deteriorating.”

    “All these children are at risk of significant developmental delay; some of the impairment may be life-long, and specialist intervention is urgently needed,” Dr Stone said.

    In particular Australian medical professionals are concerned for the babies on the island who were born into detention.

    Dr Stone said: “The birth of a child and the early days, weeks and months of family life are a challenge for even the most resourced and resourceful families living in Australia. We know what babies need, and we know what support those caring for them need.”

    “Life on Nauru is difficult for everyone. Some parents are acutely unwell and struggle to care for the babies and young children in the way they want to.”

    “The babies and parents presented to me are beside themselves; some of the babies are listless and silent and seem very little engaged with their caregivers and life around them.”

    “These are a very worrying signs in young children that need urgent specialist intervention,” Dr Stone said.

    The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s (ASRC) Detention Advocacy Manager, Natasha Blucher said: “This information has been released to demonstrate that the medical crisis on Nauru is far from over.”

    “We are seeing cases of children who have stopped eating and babies who are not interacting because of the traumatic living conditions of offshore processing on Nauru.”

    “Case workers, medical professionals and lawyers working with children and families understand the urgent need for medical transfers to save children’s lives, yet we are being ignored by decision makers in the Government,” Natasha said.

    Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Jana Favero said: “Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister Dutton and Minister Coleman are turning their backs on working with Labor, the Greens and the cross-bench to find a bipartisan solution to the crisis, which looked more likely to be resolved before the Wentworth by-election result than in the current political climate.”

    Dr Julie Stone and the ASRC condemn the government for holding babies, children and their parents in traumatic conditions on Nauru, where there is no proper medical care nor hope for the future.

    Doctors continue to call for the evacuation of all children off Nauru with their families for proper medical treatment and specialist assessment in Australia.

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