medical care

Suffering on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

In the four letters of reply I have received from 'JC' of ABF Ministerial Correspondence Section Support Group he/she writes that 'all transferees receive clinically indicated health care broadly consistent with Australian public standards' . This is a lie.

Dr Paddy McLisky said in The Guardian today that

the Australian immigration department had deliberately created a cumbersome, complex, and bureaucratic process for medical transfers, that appeared as though it was designed to fail.
— https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/21/three-pregnant-refugees-and-nearly-50-others-denied-medical-transfers-from-nauru?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

There are nearly 50 refugees and asylum seekers held on Nauru - including at least three women seeking to terminate their pregnancies - who are refused, or not considered for overseas medical treatment. This is in defiance of doctors' recommendations.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has designed a system to block all medical transfers while presenting a pretence of medical care. As Greg Lake, former Detention Centre Director, Nauru, said last year 'Our system depends on making detention worse than the place people are fleeing from. Worse than Syria under ISIS. It depends on taking away people's hope and dignity.'

As a matter of government policy and of Australia's reputation and standing, I ask you to immediately end the torture and indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and bring them all to safety and freedom now.

For the 196th man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

On 17 August 2016 'J.C.', Director ABF Ministerial Correspondence Section Support Group - ABF wrote to me about conditions for refugees on Manus Island:

All transferees at the Manus RPC receive clinically indicated health care, broadly consistent with Australian public health standards.
— https://www.ruthhalbert.com.au/dear-prime-minister/2016/8/24/letter-from-tyranny-1

Yet in this week's Senate committee inquiry into abuse, self-harm and neglect in offshore detention it is revealed that the clinical opinions of doctors are regularly overruled and that refugees wait months for medical treatment. Most tragically, Faysal Ishak Ahmed was refused medical treatment at least thirteen times before he collapsed and died.

'J.C.' and other staff of DIBP lie about Australia's offshore detention regime. Minister Dutton lies. People are dying because of these lies. Sack Minister Dutton, end offshore detention and end the lies and the deaths.

Letters to Tyranny #80

Dear Prime Minister,

While you and Minister Dutton hide behind a wall of staff who merely say "we will pass on your message" there is a growing group of people around Australia who are acting to directly support the prisoners on Manus Island and Nauru. Today a fundraiser was started in response to Masoud Ali Sheikh's need for emergency medical treatment in Lorengau Hospital. He should have been flown to Australia for treatment. How much has Australia spent on the medical 'services' in the detention camp on Manus Island? Purely symbolic: an Orwellian institution where every function means its opposite.

Bring them here

Ruth Halbert

Letters to Tyranny #9

Dear Prime Minister

The ninth asylum seeker trapped on Manus Island is Mr XXX XXX from XXX. I do not know if Mr XXX knows the man I wrote to you about yesterday, but I am sure that he is aware that he too, like all the asylum seekers, is vulnerable to untreated life-threatening conditions because the medical care for them is 'medieval'. It is so bad that more than one hundred cases are currently being investigated by Doctors for Refugees.

To know about this and do nothing to fix it is unconscionable. What are you doing about it, Mr Turnbull?

Yours faithfully

Ruth Halbert

 

Letters to Tyranny #8

Dear Prime Minister

This letter is an urgent plea to you to make sure that the eighth asylum seeker, Mr XXX, currently imprisoned on Manus Island and suffering from a life-threatening infection, receives immediate and full medical treatment in Brisbane. Images of Mr XXX's infected wounds are devastating evidence of the inhumane conditions and inadequate medical care on Manus Island.

Yours in despair

Ruth Halbert