Immigration

Grave concerns for Manus Island asylum seeker with cardiac condition

An asylum seeker has died after being flown from Manus Island to Australia for medical treatment. Source: AAP

Doctors for Refugees says an asylum seeker with a cardiac condition on Manus Island may die if he does not receive urgent medical care.

A young male asylum seeker on Manus Island is in grave danger if he does not receive urgent intervention for a serious cardiac condition, Doctors for Refugees president Dr Barri Phataford has told SBS News.

In a letter to the Immigration Department's chief medical officer, Dr John Brayley, Dr Phatarfod said she feared for the asylum seeker's life and called for urgent intervention.

On Wednesday he collapsed and took a significant time to regain consciousness, she said.

"The fact that the system is exactly the same now as it was when Faysal's complaints were ignored for so long is absolutely terrifying for everyone there," Dr Phatarfod told SBS News.

In December, Faysal Ishak Ahmed, 27, died at a Brisbane hospital after he collapsed at the Manus Island detention centre’s medical centre, and was evacuated to Australia.

The man currently at Manus Island detention centre, who signed a consent form in 2016 to release his medical records to Doctors for Refugees, has been diagnosed with ventricular premature complex after experiencing episodes of palpitations, chest pains and dizziness over eight months. 

International Health and Medical Services and the Immigration Department hold his medical records. 

Dr Phatarfod said two separate cardiologists advised the man have a pacemaker inserted last year, in August and in October.

A third cardiologist said in November that the pacemaker could be delayed if he was reassessed by a cardiologist in December.

"No-one ever needs to see three different cardiologists in three months, particularly when the first two have already provided a definite management plan," Dr Phatarfod said.

Dr Phatarfod said she had reason to believe this reassessment did not take place and the asylum seeker's condition has instead deteriorated with severe chest pain and more frequent and intense collapses. 

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have been contacted for comment.

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