Australia let Nauru block refugee medical transfers to preserve ‘relationship’

Australia let Nauru block refugee medical transfers to preserve ‘relationship’

Helen Davidson – The Guardian – 30 September 2018

Border force official says it cancelled evacuations against Australian court orders and medical advice so as not to compromise regional processing ties

Australian authorities were unable to send an air ambulance to Nauru for a court-ordered medical transfer after the Nauruan government refused permission, because to do so would affect the “working relationship” on offshore processing, a senior official has said.

At least twice in recent weeks the Nauruan government has refused to give permission for an air ambulance to land and take a refugee to Australia for urgent medical care, despite court orders and doctor recommendations.

The cases have added to growing concerns over inadequate healthcare and the complications of different tiers and standards of care, as well as alleged political motivations interfering with the transfer process.

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