|The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will discuss the way the Government is misleading the community about children on Nauru.
“I’m furious with the Government for not just the way they’re mistreating children on Nauru, but also the deeply dishonest way they’re trying to mislead the community about the matter,” Mr Wilkie said.
“The Government wants you to believe that this year they’ve brought many sick children to Australia. But the truth is every one of them has been evacuated by order of the Federal Court, or the threat of such court action.
“The Government wants you to believe that any child who is recommended by doctors for evacuation is indeed being evacuated. But the truth is that in many instances the children removed by order of the Federal Court had previously been recommended by doctors for evacuation, but it had been blocked by Australian Border Force.
“The Government wants you to believe that there’s more than 60 medical personnel on Nauru to care for sick children and other refugees and asylum seekers. But the truth is there’s only half that number at any one time, the senior Australian medical officer has been kicked out of the country, and the children are almost entirely left with a handful of health practitioners from other countries. The only psychiatrist available speaks Spanish only and there is no translator.
“The Government wants you to believe that they can’t be aware of all sick children on Nauru because some are presenting to health services separate to the Australian contracted service provider. But the truth is the only alternative is the small Nauru hospital which is in constant communications with the Australian contractor, and the Australian contractor is in fact referring people to the Nauru hospital.
“The Government wants you to believe that people are getting adequate health care from the health service contractor, IHMS. But the truth is they’re sometimes being picked up by police cars instead of ambulances, sent to the Nauru hospital, given a Panadol and sent home. In some cases parents are being arrested by the Nauruan authorities due to neglect of their children, when their children are mentally unwell and the parents are struggling with their own mental illness. And adults who have tried to commit suicide have been detained by police for committing an offence by trying to take their own life.”