Australia's chief medical officer deported from Nauru

Alicia Farmer
October 19, 2018

The development comes as Labor drafted legislation in response to growing concerns by Australian doctors about the care provided to children and their families on Nauru.

"A replacement senior medical officer is already in Nauru, there has been no impact on the services provided to transferees", the IHMS spokesperson told AAP.

The contractor, IHMS, said Dr Montana was removed for "breaching the rules of the regional processing centre".

Humanitarian medical professionals expelled from Nauru said earlier this week asylum seekers that Australia had banished were suicidal and their children have lost hope.

The Guardian is reporting that Montana was arrested and ordered to leave the island, and mentions a source that claims officers from the Australian Border Force had requested police not handcuff her.

Mr Morrison said in Parliament: "We will continue to treat every single case based on the medical advice that is received, and transfers are undertaken on the basis of that medical advice".

The global 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.

They told The Herald Sun conditions on Nauru are at a "tipping point" and joined calls by thousands of Australian doctors for the children to be evacuated to Australia for medical care.

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The center-left opposition Labor Party argues that a lifetime ban on refugees ever visiting Australia on a tourist or businesses was unnecessary and against Australia's interests. With public criticism of Australia's offshore detention system mounting, there have been breakouts on both sides of politics, with a number of parliamentarians increasingly concerned about conditions in offshore detention following a spate of medical transfers to Australia. The Government of Nauru forbids medical workers from photographing their patients to prevent leaks to the media and refugee advocates.

"I have been meeting with those colleagues as have the relevant ministers and we have been acting on those issues", Mr Morrison told reporters on Tuesday.

But Labor, the Greens, and the crossbench will not support the legislation.

Independent senators have now asked for an urgent briefing on the bill.

New Zealand has long held the view that any such arrival bans are a matter for Australia.

"The government is not looking in any way to weaken our very strong border protection policies", Senator Payne told ABC radio this morning after Mr Morrison yesterday urged the Senate to sign off on laws.

"Our offer still stands".

Government backbenchers Craig Laundy, Julia Banks and Russell Broadbent have lobbied Mr Morrison to urgently bring all children and their parents to Australia, fast-tracking removal from offshore detention for those youngsters who need urgent care.

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