Controversy over Australia's refugee camps grows as senior doctor departs

A senior doctor who was caring for asylum seekers detained by Australia on the remote Pacific island of Naur...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 11:45 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 11:45 AM

A senior doctor who was caring for asylum seekers detained by Australia on the remote Pacific island of Nauru has left the country, amid reports she was deported by the local government.

According to Australian government statistics from July, almost two hundred men and women, as well as a dozen children, are being detained on the tiny island nation where they were sent after arriving in Australia by boat.

Australia

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Environment and natural resources

Health and medical

Health care

Health care professionals

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

Islands and reefs

Landforms and ecosystems

Micronesia (Region)

Nauru

Oceania

Physicians and surgeons

Refugee and relief camps

Refugees

Immigration

Political asylum

However non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders said there could be as many as 900 refugees and asylum seekers still left on the Pacific island, which is almost 2,800 miles from the Australian mainland.

Some detainees have been held there for years, barred from coming to Australia. The long detainment has severely damaged the asylum seekers' mental health, with some children attempting suicide or acts of self-harm according to the United Nations.

Dr Nicole Montana, Australia's senior medical officer on Nauru, tasked with overseeing the detainee's health, left the island on Wednesday. Her employer, International Health and Medical Services, said she had been removed from her duties "for a breach of Regional Processing Center rules."

Local Australian media reported Montana had been deported and placed on a flight back to Australia, provoking outrage among the country's medical community.

"As medical practitioners, we cannot sit back knowing the care received by refugees and asylum seekers is anything but acceptable," Harry Nespolon, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President, said in a statement.

The Nauru government has denied reports Montana was told to leave the island, saying she was only "briefly questioned by police" after taking a picture of a child at a detention center without permission.

"The doctor has a valid visa and a right to practice medicine on the island and we welcome the doctor back on the island as her services are needed," the statement said, accusing the Australian media of misrepresenting the issue.

It comes just two weeks after Doctors Without Borders said they were asked to cease activities on the island, where they were providing mental health support to the refugees.

In a video posted to their social media, the international medical organization said they "condemned" Nauru's decision and described the dire situation they left behind on Nauru.

"Now the children, some of them, they are not eating, they are not drinking, anything, they are just laying on the bed, doing nothing ... Childhood shouldn't be like this," psychiatrist Natalia Hverta Perez said in a video posted to the organization's social media.

Pressure has been growing on the Australian government to help the increasingly distressed children held on Nauru, after a 12-year-old boy was evacuated to hospital in Australia after refusing to eat for weeks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would consider allowing the refugees to resettle in New Zealand, according to local media, but only if legislation was passed banning them from ever entering Australia.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52685

Reported Deaths: 2775
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12192697
Lake5764251
Elkhart372061
Allen2988135
St. Joseph223570
Hamilton1779101
Cass16519
Hendricks1482100
Johnson1366118
Porter86738
Vanderburgh8586
Tippecanoe79510
Clark72844
Madison68564
LaPorte63928
Howard61758
Bartholomew60945
Kosciusko5874
Marshall57412
Noble52628
Boone49744
LaGrange49110
Delaware48452
Jackson4813
Hancock47236
Shelby46225
Floyd42544
Monroe37528
Dubois3447
Morgan34431
Grant33426
Henry30618
Montgomery29720
Clinton2913
White28110
Warrick27929
Dearborn27723
Vigo2638
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison22022
Greene20032
Miami1972
Jennings18012
Putnam1758
DeKalb1714
Scott1669
Wayne1656
Perry16010
Daviess15117
Jasper1422
Orange14023
Steuben1403
Ripley1357
Gibson1332
Franklin1288
Wabash1203
Carroll1142
Starke1103
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington932
Jefferson932
Wells841
Randolph814
Fulton791
Knox730
Jay720
Posey680
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay655
Rush633
Spencer621
Owen541
Sullivan541
Benton510
Adams491
Brown461
Blackford412
Fountain382
Tipton361
Crawford350
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren161
Pike150
Union150
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67995

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12574449
Cuyahoga9509400
Hamilton7179208
Lucas3110306
Marion275739
Montgomery264737
Summit2420209
Pickaway223542
Mahoning1996239
Butler194247
Columbiana140560
Stark1252116
Lorain120870
Trumbull107178
Warren106827
Clark83210
Delaware78415
Fairfield75117
Lake64322
Tuscarawas62811
Licking61913
Medina61432
Belmont57224
Clermont5327
Miami52031
Wood51551
Portage50760
Ashtabula45244
Geauga43643
Richland3926
Allen39141
Greene3809
Wayne37856
Erie30822
Mercer30410
Holmes2645
Huron2643
Darke26126
Madison2309
Ottawa21924
Athens2011
Sandusky18015
Coshocton1554
Ross1543
Washington14920
Putnam14615
Crawford1405
Jefferson1322
Morrow1291
Hardin12512
Union1191
Auglaize1124
Muskingum1061
Preble961
Lawrence930
Clinton922
Hancock921
Monroe8917
Hocking848
Guernsey834
Scioto800
Ashland782
Shelby784
Williams772
Logan731
Carroll713
Fulton710
Wyandot665
Brown621
Champaign601
Knox591
Fayette580
Highland581
Defiance563
Perry501
Van Wert501
Seneca432
Henry380
Paulding350
Jackson320
Pike290
Adams282
Vinton232
Gallia211
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan130
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 69°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Storms Late Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events