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Unconscionable to leave children on Nauru

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The AMA’s paediatric representative Dr Paul Bauert has delivered a blunt message to the Federal Government – get the kids off Nauru.

While addressing protest rallies, speaking to the media and handing over a petition to parliamentarians that has been signed by thousands of doctors, Dr Bauert repeated his insistence that it is unconscionable to leave children suffering on the Pacific island.  

Dr Bauert has treated asylum seeker patients on Nauru.

“This is the only situation I’ve come across where it is deliberate government policy which is causing the pain and suffering of these children,” he told reporters in Canberra in October.

“Many are damaged already, but we don’t want this damage to be permanent. They need to be assessed and treated as a matter of urgency.

“It’s a miracle we haven’t had a death already.

“I have reviewed many cases of these children myself. It is simply unconscionable that we are keeping these children and their families in a situation which we know is a critical threat to their health and wellbeing.

“The situation for children on Nauru is a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention and removal of all these children and their families to medical treatment in Australia.”

On October 15, Dr Bauert and Sydney-based GP Dr Sara Townend delivered to Prime Minister Scott Morrison an open letter signed by almost 6,000 Australian doctors, urging children in detention on Nauru be transferred to Australia for medical and psychological treatment.

The number of signatories amounts to about five per cent of all registered doctors in Australia.