Minister backs doctors on kids in detention
Victoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy has thrown her support behind doctors at the Royal Children’s Hospital who have refused to discharge asylum seeker children back into detention.
Doctors at the hospital are concerned about the welfare of their dozens of patients and say it would be unethical to discharge them to unsafe conditions that could compromise their health.
“I’m extremely proud to be the health minister in a state where its doctors and nurses are putting the interest of children first,” Ms Hennessy said. “If the staff of the Royal Children’s Hospital come to the clinical view that it is not in the interests of those children to go back into detention, then we will support them.”
Defying new federal laws threatening two years’ jail for health workers who speak out against immigration detention centre conditions, more than 400 of the hospital’s doctors stood together on Friday demanding children be released from detention.
“We see a whole range of physical, mental, emotional and social disturbances that are really severe and we have no hope of improving these things when we have to discharge our patients back into detention,” one pediatrician said. (Source SMH)