Immigration

Maternity care on Nauru 'significant,' Dutton says

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has defended health services on Nauru as "significant". (AAP)

A Somali woman evacuated from Nauru after an emergency caesarean received significant health support before her condition worsened, Peter Dutton says.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has defended health services on Nauru as "significant" after an asylum seeker was flown to Brisbane following an emergency caesarean.

Naima Ahmed, a 22-year-old Somali woman, and her newborn, who was one month premature, were taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital this week following the procedure.

It has been reported she had showed signs of pre-eclampsia when five months pregnant and suffered a fit before surgery.

But Mr Dutton on Saturday insisted the health facilities on the island were significant and "dozens" of babies had been delivered there throughout the year.

"All I can say to you is the advice is taken from the doctors," he said in Brisbane.

"The doctors advised at which point this woman should be airlifted to Australia.

"We rely on that advice and I think that's perfectly reasonable."

Asked about her current condition, Mr Dutton would only say that she was "receiving the medical attention that's required".

He had become aware of her situation only before her flight.

The woman's partner may be flown to visit her, but no decision had been made.

Mr Dutton said $11 million of taxpayers' money was spent to upgrade the medical facilities on Nauru.

He also hit out at asylum seeker advocates who suggested the woman was deprived of adequate care.

"They are pushing a particular issue and they are trading in the misery of these people which is appalling," Mr Dutton said.

"The doctors on the island - medically trained doctors - have provided the medical advice about what could be provided to this woman and at which point she needed to be evacuated."

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch