Australia

Refugees on Nauru 'getting the care that is necessary': PM

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The prime minister says medical support is available to people on Nauru, despite harrowing tales from mental health workers kicked off the island.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the right level of medical support is available for people awaiting processing on Nauru, as calls grow for asylum seekers to come off the Pacific island.

Doctors who were recently asked to leave the island by the Nauruan government say asylum seekers are suffering "absolutely devastating" mental conditions.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said it treated 78 refugee patients who either attempted suicide, had suicidal thoughts or inflicted self-harm.

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Doctors Without Borders speaks out about Nauru government ban.
Doctors Without Borders speaks out about Nauru government ban.

Mr Morrison on Friday said the government worked with a separate medical contractor - International Health and Medical Services - and appropriate medical support was available.

"We don't go around making a big song and dance about it, we just get on and help people and provide the care that is necessary," he told Sky News on Friday.

Mr Morrison said further medical assistance is organised by the federal government as required.

Aid worker organisation Save The Children joined MSF to express concern for the "devastating physical and mental impacts" on children in detention.

The organisation said it witnessed the deteriorating mental and physical health of detainees firsthand, calling on the prime minister to immediately remove children from the island.

Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) have been ordered out of Nauru.
Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) have been ordered out of Nauru.
SBS News

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government should accept New Zealand's offer to resettle detainees on Nauru.

"Five years has been too long to resettle some of the people we have in our regional processing," Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

"We support the American deal. I think the government should accept the offer of New Zealand to resettle some of the people on Nauru."

Mr Shorten fell short of rejecting offshore processing, saying Labor is committed to stopping the boats and preventing deaths at sea.

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Judith Lucy's message to politicians about children on Nauru.
Judith Lucy's message to politicians about children on Nauru.

Save The Children's Mat Tinkler said the prime minister should urgently arrange for children and their families to be moved to Australia or an appropriate third country "until an enduring solution can be found".

The Nauruan government said that MSF staff had shown themselves to be "political activists".

"Although MSF claimed to be a partner to Nauru and the Nauruan people, instead of working with us, they conspired against us," the statement issued on Friday said.

"The facilities, care, welfare and homely environment offered to refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru are comparable or better than what other refugees and asylum seekers across the globe receive."

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