Melbourne plastic surgeon Dr Neela Janakiramanan has provided the latest news about the plight of the refugee children stranded on Nauru. As of last Saturday, 12 kids remained. There has been steady progress in the last month. Families with members alleged to be higher security risks are starting to be processed. For some, rescue cannot arrive quickly enough. Many are suffering from resignation syndrome, with consequent starvation, dehydration, and incipient severe organ impairment. One child arrived in Australia in extremis, requiring urgent resuscitation on the tarmac, and already in multiple organ failure. She still is receiving renal replacement therapy.
A number of factors has contributed to the increase of these removals from Nauru. The Federal Government now is in minority on the floor of the House of Representatives, and the cross benchers have pushed hard on this issue. Former AMA President Dr Kerryn Phelps just has been elected as the independent Member for Wentworth. She has been running a high-profile campaign in support of asylum seekers. She continues to do so. The AMA and its current President Dr Tony Bartone has been strident in his advocacy. The petition demanding immediate refugee repatriation, instigated by General Practitoner Dr Sara Townend and Neela, has gathered almost 7000 signatures of medical practitioners and students.
This Friday, November 30, between 12.30-1.30pm at the Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH) in Melbourne, there will be a Grand Round Panel Discussion titled Health Professionals and Human Rights – Advocacy for Asylum Seekers and Refugees. Joining Neela and Sara on this panel, will be: Prof Louise Newman AM, a psychiatrist and Director, Centre for Women’s Mental Health; Assoc Prof Deborah Zion, an ethicist; Prof George Newhouse, a human rights lawyer; and Ms Kara Blackburn, a RWH midwife. Actress, comedian and writer, Ms Magda Szubanski, will be Panel Moderator.
The Royal Women’s Hospital invite you to a Grand Round panel discussion – ‘Health Professionals and Human Rights – advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees’ held on Friday 30 November 2018 from 12.30pm at Charles La Trobe theatre, Royal Melbourne Hospital. Register here to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/grand-roundpanel-discussion-health-professionals-and-human-rights-advocacy-for-asylum-seekersand-tickets-52121226993
Dr Peter Seal