Australian hospital refuses to discharge baby facing deportation

Australian hospital refuses to discharge baby facing deportation
Published: 2016 February 14 09:07:30 (13917 Views)
Protesters have gathered at an Australian hospital to support doctors that have refused to discharge a baby facing deportation to a detention camp.

The Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane said the year-old girl will not be released "until a suitable home environment is identified".

The daughter of asylum-seeker parents suffered serious burns at an immigration camp on Nauru island.

The government says its controversial offshore detention policy is necessary.

It is aimed at preventing asylum seekers trying to reach Australia on unseaworthy boats.

Ellen Roberts, a spokeswoman for campaign group GetUp, said protesters were "standing in solidarity" with the baby's parents - who are in Brisbane - and the hospital.

"We are calling on [Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull to do the right thing and let the family stay," she told Reuters.

More than 500 people are currently held on Nauru, a tiny island in the South Pacific.

In September, a senate committee report said conditions there were "not adequate, appropriate or safe" and that allegations of rape and abuse should be investigated.



The centre's facilities have reportedly improved and asylum seekers are now allowed to freely move around the island.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has not commented on the girl's specific case.

"All decisions relating to a patient's treatment and discharge are made by qualified clinical staff, based on a thorough assessment of the individual patient's clinical condition and circumstances," the hospital said in a statement.

Any child who is taken to hospital is only released if a suitable environment exists, it said.

The baby suffered the burns after boiling water was accidentally spilled on her in the tent she lived in with her parents, the ABC reports.

Earlier this month, the High Court upheld the constitutionality of offshore detention, allowing the government to deport 267 people, including 37 babies, who were brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Their cases have sparked national protests under the banner #LetThemStay.

Ten Anglican and Uniting church leaders offered their churches as a refuge for those facing deportation.

Victoria's leader Daniel Andrews also wrote to Mr Turnbull offering to settle the asylum seekers in his state, a position that received the support of several other state premiers.

Mr Turnbull has said deportations of the group will be decided on a case by case basis and that they will be treated "with compassion".



Source - BBC

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