Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Doctors Prescribe Mass Action Against Offshore Detention

Photos by Shamindan Kanapadhi

Independents like Kerryn Phelps seem pivotal to health and justice for immigration detainees say doctors speaking at an Amnesty event to End Offshore Processing held in Sydney yesterday.

Dr David Isaacs said that the overall health needs of detainees are clearly affected by prolonged detention, family separations and imminent returns to island prisons.

“We need to prove that Australians treasure humanity”, he said.

Dr Barri Phatarfod spoke about how Doctors4Refugees only deal in hard medical facts that are filtered from IHMS staff through Border Force to the Minister or the outside world.

Dr Kerryn Phelps said that her very first meeting with Independents during her first day of Federal Parliament in Canberra will address the issue of Kids Off Nauru and the ongoing suffering of adults in offshore detention. The Wilkie motion was also mentioned.

Dr Phelps said that the Wilkie motion is a huge opportunity for a democratic response to the prolonged humanitarian and health crises affecting refugees who have become unwell in detention.

The doctors cited horrific cases of deeply unwell men being shunted between the makeshift PIH clinic there, Lorengau hospital, Port Moresby General Hospital, PIH in Moresby, the Granville motel and detention there. The freedom of activists Abdul Aziz Adam and Behrouz Boochani on Manus to campaign without immigration penalties was also discussed.

Dr David Isaacs, Dr Barri Phatarfod, Dr Karen Zwi, AMA NSW President Dr Kean-Seng Lim joined Dr Phelps, a former AMA President in expressing the need for mass actions by professions and the community. Over 6000 doctors have spoken out about the welfare of Kids On Nauru.

Graham Thom of Amnesty International

Dr Kerryn Phelps, MP for Wentworth

Professor David Isaacs

Dr Barri Phatarfod, Doctors4 Refugees

Ian Rintoul, RAC Sydney

Dr Karen Zwi

Dr Kean-Seng Lim, AMA President

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    November 25, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    The guy above is free to move about Nauru like Nauruans do. They are not ‘imprisoned’. They are temporary islanders.

    Ironically, when in 1963 the Nauruans were offered Australian citizenship and an alternative homeland on Curtis island off Gladstone, it was because of the damage caused by phosphate mining that they refused. They had concerns about their identity and culture. So they stayed. It isn’t paradise, but it is home, as it is a temporary home for refugees who cannot yet go home and do not want a third-world resettlement offer.

    The health system in Nauru isn’t terrific. The one in the camps is significantly better and infinitely better than to be found in any other refugee camp on the planet.

    It is a decent temporary home of sorts, because the Australian people pay well over a thousand dollars per head per day for each refugee, compared to around four dollars a day in the camps in Lebanon.

    In reality, the nub of the issue on Nauru and Manus is that asylum seekers paid around $8,000 a head to traffickers to get them to Australia. They would fly in to Indonesia and then be put on clapped out fishing vessels that would either conk out or start to sink inside Australian territorial waters, whereupon the Australians would be obliged to pick them up and process their asylum claims to come to Australia.

    This enabled them to shunt their way past already processed and ready-to-go refugees who had been rotting in some cases for decades in really awful refugee camps .. and didn’t have the money to pay the snake heads.

    Fortunately this gaming of the system was stopped by responsible government in Canberra, in favour of an orderly system.

    The opponents of this do not care about maintaining orderly migration or the long term consequences of mismanaging it, like has happened in Europe and the US. All they care about is poor things who we have to indulge because .. they are poor things. Sustainable policy behaviour no more crosses their collective minds than it does their corporate opposite numbers.

    Those people who paid the snakeheads such enormous sums of money but didn’t get what they paid for are naturally upset and depressed. They gambled on the stupid Australians playing the game, and it didn’t work and they got stuck on an isolated little island instead of an isolated big one.

    And I guess if one has nothing much else to do except work out new and innovative ways of manipulating the mainland poor thingers into a frenzy of empathy and compassion, that is what you do. Sewing up lips is a bit passe these days, but wait .. what about the kiddies?

    Do you remember that film about a man who sustains a child through life in a concentration camp and saves him by shielding him and keeping his morale up at all costs? Eventually he dies at the hands of a retreating SS guard as the Americans arrive, so that the child might live. It was called ‘Life Is Beautiful’?

    Nauru isn’t vaguely a concentration camp. You would think that shielding the children and maintaining their morale would be a top priority. After all, there isn’t much else to do.

    The parents aren’t being used as slave labour, or starved, beaten to death or arbitrarily shot by guards, or gassed when they can’t work a full day anymore, like real concentration camp ‘inmates’. So what is the problem with the kiddies that a little bit of attitude adjustment wouldn’t fix?

    • Russell

      November 26, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      They do not choose or deserve to be held indefinitely in limbo, Christopher.

      Get it through your head.

      We are sick of your bigoted comments, as shown in the Victorian election last weekend.

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