The local Lorengau hospital is turning away refugee cases of self-harm and attempted suicide as the numbers being brought to the hospital continue to rise.

Local nurses are saying that the hospital cannot cope and that PIH (Pacific International Hospital), the medical service providers that run a GP clinic in one of the refugee compounds) is not doing enough to help.

At least six cases have been brought to the Lorengau hospital in the last 24 hours. One Iraqi asylum seeker in Hillside compound attempted to hang himself around 1.00am, Wednesday morning, but was cut down by a local guard.

Four of the self-harm cases involve refugees swallowing razor blades, and needles. One has badly slashed his head.

There have been over 23 cases of self-harm or attempted suicide on Manus (and more cases in Port Moresby, including some among those already hospitalised there) since the federal election on 18 May.

“While the government continues politicking with threats to move to repeal the Medivac Bill, Manus is being overwhelmed. After almost six years, the despair of indefinite detention has become too much,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The urgent medical and mental health cases need to be immediately evacuated to Australia, as the first step in finally closing Manus and Nauru.”

The Refugee Action Coalition is holding a protest/speak-out Friday, 31 May, 5.30pm, Sydney Town Hall, to highlight the situation on Manus, oppose the repeal of the Medivac Bill and call for all those on Manus and Nauru to be brought to Australia.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713.
Refugee Action Coalition