Nauru refugee camp doctor removed as pressure on Australia mount

Australian Medical Associations paediatric representative Dr Paul Bauert

The move comes as 6000 doctors have now signed a petition urging the Australian Government to take urgent action on removing critically ill children and their families from Nauru.

Dr Nicole Montana, a senior medical officer for Australia's immigration processing centre on Nauru, was arrested last night on the island, according to media reports.

Humanitarian medical professionals expelled from Nauru said earlier this week asylum seekers that Australia had banished were suicidal and their children have lost hope.

A spokesperson for the health contractor said Dr Montana was stood down on Tuesday for breaching the rules of the regional processing centre.

Mr Morrison said in Parliament: "We will continue to treat every single case based on the medical advice that is received, and transfers are undertaken on the basis of that medical advice".

The Department of Home Affairs refused to comment on the matter this morning beyond confirming a replacement senior medical officer was in Nauru and that there would be "no impact" to the care of asylum seekers on the island.

The Greens have called for asylum seekers to be settled in Australia.

A patient is attended by an Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia mental health team on Nauru.

Local and global condemnation is growing, but it could be a push by his own colleagues that forces Prime Minister Scott Morrison to act.

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"We were particularly shocked by the many children suffering from traumatic withdrawal syndrome, where their status deteriorated to the extent they were unable to eat, drink, or even walk to the toilet".

Mr Morrison yesterday dismissed the protests by Australian doctors, saying he would not be forced into a backdown on border security.

He said Labor and the crossbench had refused to support the necessary legislation.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was willing to accept New Zealand's offer to resettle 80 asylum seekers on Nauru if they would never step foot in Australia.

In response to growing concerns of his own Liberal colleagues - including MPs Craig Laundy, Russell Broadbent and Julia Banks - Mr Morrison repeatedly noted the bill to close the "back door" from New Zealand into Australia had languished on the notice paper since 2016.

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

A spokesman for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week the New Zealand Government would wait to see the outcome of the Senate vote, but the offer remained the same.

That legislation would prevent anyone transferred to New Zealand could not travel to Australia would need to occur first.

"This is about making sure vulnerable and sick children in Australia's care can receive the medical treatment they need", he wrote.

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