Labor wants easier Nauru medical transfers

The island of Nauru

Labor has drafted legislation aimed at speeding up the medical transfers of sick children from Nauru to Australia.

Morrison is facing internal pressure over the ongoing crisis, with a number of government backbenchers urging Morrison to bring children and the families to Australia.

The senior medical officer was contracted by the Australian government to look after the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Nauru. A replacement was already on the island and "there has been no impact on the services provided to transferees", IHMS said.

An International Health and Medical Services spokesperson says the officer breached the rules of the detention centre in Nauru.

If the minister refuses a transfer, a second medical opinion must be sought to ensure the decision is predicated on medicaladvice.

The Department of Home Affairs said it was a matter for IHMS and the government of Nauru, but stressed there had been no interruption to medical care.

After the decision, the MSF publicly blasted conditions on the island, highlighting that children as young as nine had told their staff they would rather die than live in a state of hopelessness in detention.

The ABC said it understood the Australian Government planned to call for a vote this week on the legislation.

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

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

"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".

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.

The Centre Alliance party, which controls two crossbench votes, said it remained opposed to the bill as it now stood, but was willing to negotiate.

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

The government argues without the legislation and a lifetime ban, it would be seen by the people smugglers as a backdoor way of getting asylum seekers eventually to Australia.

"Closing the loopholes would remove one of those hurdles".

The forum, moderated by Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning, focused on the nearly 100 children on Nauru, many of whom are at risk from "resignation syndrome" and have given up on life.

With concerns heightened on the government side, Labor strategists think it is possible some Liberals could support the private member's bill being proposed by the opposition to improve transfer procedures.

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