Royal Australasian College of Physicians calls for end to medical crisis in offshore detention

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has today called for the medical crisis in Australia’s offshore detention centres to be immediately addressed by transferring the remaining children from Nauru and allowing urgent medical transfers for adult refugees and asylum seekers on the basis of medical advice.

“The medical evidence is clear, offshore detention has had significant and detrimental impact on the health an wellbeing of refugees, particularly children and their families”, said Professor David Isaacs, Paediatrician and RACP Fellow.

“There is a medical crisis in offshore detention. I witnessed it myself when I treated children on Nauru four years ago. But it is a crisis that is entirely preventable. The government can act to end it.

“In the last five years, 12 people have died within offshore detention arrangements. We cannot wait until another person dies. We have a responsibility to act.

“In Australia, clinical need, not politics, should determine access to assessment and care. This should apply equally on Manus Island and Nauru.

“If a person needs urgent medical support, access to care must be determined by a doctor – not a politician.

“Regardless of your opinion on offshore processing, nobody wants to see critically ill people denied the medical treatment they need,” said Professor Isaacs.

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