Manus mental health crisis as refugee swallows razor blades

| September 16, 2018 | Reply

Refugee advocates have called for urgent medical attention for a 46-year-old Iraqi refugee who has been hospitalised in Port Moresby after swallowing razor blades.

The refugee has swallowed a total of eight blades – six last Friday morning, 14 September, and then two more after he was admitted to hospital.

On Saturday morning, 15 September, still in the hospital, he swallowed a pair of nail clippers.

He has had one scan to locate the blades and nail clippers, but there has been no more treatment. He is now passing blood.

Since being on Manus, the man has been sent to Port Moresby three times for treatment. This time, he has been in Port Moresby for 17 months, waiting for treatment for an intractable stomach ailment.

His case has highlighted the lack of medical or mental health care available for refugees in Manus or Port Moresby.

“There are numerous cases of refugees waiting for months in the Granville Motel for treatment that they never get,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, who recently visited the Granville Motel and Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.

“While the recent attention has been on Nauru, where legal action in Australia has forced the government to bring refugees to Australia for medical treatment, there are just as many cases in PNG. One man I saw has a letter indicating that IHMS has referred his case to Border Force in July 2017, and he is still waiting for urgently needed surgery that cannot be done in Port Moresby.

“The Iraqi refugee decided to try and end his life to put an end to his suffering. The government has a duty of care to those they have illegally dumped on Manus Island. They cannot provide medical care; there is no third country to resettle them; they need to evacuate Manus and Port Moresby and bring them here.”

For more information, contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Category: Press releases

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