Minister Must Stop Playing Politics With Erfan’s Arm

Refugee Action Coalition-



Refugee advocates are maintaining their call for the Immigration Minister to bring the 11 year-old Iranian refugee from Nauru to Australia for an urgent operation to reset his broken arm.

Having dropped India, the latest proposal is for the government to send a Sydney doctor to Nauru to operate on the boy’s arm.

“The government is trying to bully Erfan’s parents into agreeing to have the operation on Nauru, even though the equipment and facilities to safely and successfully operate are not available there,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

On Monday, 1 June, even the resident doctor on Nauru, Dr Bwabwa Oten, told Doctors for Refugees, “I would strongly recommend early referral offshore for MRI, assessment by a Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and ORIF.”

Erfan has been in pain, since setting his broken arm was botched by doctors at the Nauru hospital on 5 May.

“It is time the Minister stopped playing politics with Erfan’s arm and brought him to Australia. Immigration officials told Erfan’s parents that there was no other option but to operate on Nauru. But that is not true. A female Connect case worker who broke her hand 10 days ago on Nauru was immediately medivacced to Australia for treatment. ” said Rintoul.

“If Nauru was unacceptable for the Connect worker, it is unacceptable for Erfan. The only reason Erfan hasn’t been brought to Australia is that he is a refugee. When IHMS thought he was an asylum seeker, Erfan’s parents were told that he would be taken to Australia.

“It is a shocking case of the Minister, abandoning common sense and trying to score political points at the expense of a boy’s arm and the anxiety of the boy’s parents. Delaying Erfan’s treatment in this way, is unforgivable.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713