Labor moves to make medical transfers from Nauru easier

Australian Medical Associations paediatric representative Dr Paul Bauert

Labor has drafted legislation aimed at speeding up the medical transfers of sick children from Nauru to Australia.

Dr Nicole Montana, the chief medical officer with Australia's contractor on the island, International Health Medical Services, was reportedly arrested last night and ordered to leave.

As of last week, 418 people had resettled in the U.S. from both Manus Island and Nauru, under the deal struck by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and former USA president Barack Obama.

The senior medical officer was contracted by the Australian government to look after the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Nauru. About 1500 people are being held hostage on Nauru and Manus Island by the Australian government.

They said there had been no impact on medical services.

The Department of Home Affairs said it was a matter for IHMS and the government of Nauru, but stressed there had been no interruption to medical care.

The group said at least 78 patients it had seen in detention over the past year had contemplated suicide or self harm.

"If Malcolm Turnbull was able to negotiate conditions for the United States deal to proceed, why is Scott Morrison incapable of negotiating similar conditions for the NZ deal?"

The worldwide 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.

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The Australian Medical Association has also called for children to be immediately transferred to Australia for proper medical care.

"There is no support for that bill at present", he said.

Morrison was asked during parliamentary question time on Monday by the Victorian independent Cathy McGowan what it would take for the government to act with "compassion, mercy and justice to accept the offer of resettlement from New Zealand and have these children and their families off Nauru by Christmas".

Mr Morrison is talking down the prospects of putting the bill to the vote this week.

She insisted the government hadn't only become open to the plan after political pressure from its own ranks or ahead of the Wentworth by-election. 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.

Labor has hit back arguing the ban didn't need to be in place for the Turnbull Government to make a deal with the U.S. to accept refugees.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale called on the government to put "an end to this humanitarian crisis".

The forum, moderated by Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning, focused on the nearly 100 children on Nauru, many of whom are at risk from "resignation syndrome" and have given up on life.

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