AUSSIE PHYSICIANS GROUP KNOCKS NAURU DETENTION REPORT

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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Jan. 29) – An association of Australian physicians says a new report on the state of medical facilities for immigration detainees housed on Nauru is inadequate because no patients were examined.

The Federal Government sent a delegation to Nauru after a group of detainees went on a month-long hunger strike.

The report recommended improved services, including upgrading Nauru's hospital emergency department, although it notes that all the asylum seekers it met appeared well and nourished.

But Dr Louise Newman of the Professional Alliance for the Health of Asylum Seekers and their Children says the delegation was not in a position to properly assess the asylum seekers health.

"We felt very clearly that there needed to be some direct assessment of these people's health status," he said. "It's certainly not sufficient to draw hard and fast conclusions about people's health from a very superficial and casual observation."

The Professional Alliance for the Health of Asylum Seekers and their Children was formed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges, and the AMA.

January 30, 2004

ABC News Online: http://abc.net.au/news/

 

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