$100k evacuation for constipated asylum seeker
INTERNATIONAL doctors on Nauru demanded an Iranian asylum seeker be medically evacuated to Australia because she was in so much pain - only for Brisbane doctors to find she was constipated.
The case, which cost taxpayers $100,000, can for the first time be publicly told, and points to another example of advocates and doctors working together to get asylum seekers into Australia.
The woman, 19, turned up at an International Health and Medical Services clinic on October 19 with stomach pain. The doctors believed her case was severe and she needed specialist treatment in Australia.
News Queensland understands the Home Affairs Department tried to get her on a commercial flight, but law firm Maurice Blackburn filed a court order that she be transported by air ambulance.
On October 22, she was taken by air ambulance to Princess Alexandra Hospital. After a number of tests, she was discharged four days later, diagnosed with constipation.
The woman remains in Australia and it is expected a Federal Court injunction will be filed on her behalf to stop her from being returned to Nauru.
All asylum seekers on the island are not detained, are free to come and go as they please at the processing centre and have a 20-year visa.
As Federal Parliament sits, it is expected independent Kerryn Phelps will try to introduce a private member's Bill to get all children and their families off Nauru.
It is understood there are barely a handful of children left on the island.
The move comes as it can be revealed families are refusing to leave Nauru - the place many say is unbearable - even if they have other options.
News Queensland understands that on November 1, a family of five from Myanmar, who had been on Nauru since 2014, refused to attend a meeting to find out if they'd been granted asylum in the US.
It is understood the parents told a Border Force official they "did not get on a boat to go to the US".
"They got on a boat to come to Australia."