Compiled by one of the adult moderators
Due to the many questions and comments on our video post showing the Republic of Nauru (RON) Hospital, we wanted to answer some of those questions and attempt to provide a more detailed explanation.
1. The footage that we have provided was taken in late 2015 and is exactly how the hospital looks today. It is not footage of a disused building. The hospital is supposed to be fully functioning and is the only hospital available to Nauruan’s and refugees. It is the hospital where Peter Dutton expects women to give birth.
2. Peter Dutton talks about providing $29,000,000 on an upgrade or refurbishment of the Nauru Hospital. He does not say the $29,000,000 is to build a new hospital that has not been build or under construction. By talking about the pregnant women in the radio interview (previous post), he is implying that they already have access to the upgraded hospital. This is not true.
3. The $11,000,000 that Peter Dutton refers to is the health facility located in the Regional Processing Centre 1 (RPC1). That facility is operated by IHMS and is for staff and asylum seekers only. Refugees and Nauruan’s cannot access this facility. They are not permitted to enter RPC1. That health facility is a new, clean pre-fabricated building with equipment similar to that of a large Australian medical centre.
4. We do not deny that the Australian Government may be building a new hospital. There are many rumours on Nauru about the Australian Government building a new jail, a new school, a new police station, upgrading roads and upgrading or building various community buildings and new accommodation. The question about whether the $29,000,000 has been spent on the upgrade of the hospital or will be spent on a new hospital is one for Peter Dutton. We do stand by our claim that Peter Dutton is being deceptive with his statements about providing money for the upgrade or refurbishment of the hospital. If money has been spent on the upgrade then the footage that we have provided speaks for itself. We also stand by our claims that Peter Dutton is being deceptive by stating “I’ve been to many hospitals in regional Australia, including in towns where people would say that those hospitals aren’t up to the standard of those in Nauru”. Those in Nauru implies that both IHMS health facility and the RON Hospital are of a better standard. ‘Those’ being plural.
5. The Department (ABF) also refers to an upgrade of the Nauru Hospital. The Senate inquiry could not determine if the current photographs of the hospital submitted to the inquiry were pre or post the upgrade. We know that the photograph submitted to the inquiry were current and post the so called upgrade that the Department refers to in the inquiry. Cleary no one (from the Department?) has confirmed that the photographs were in fact current, allowing the committee to believe that they may have been prior to the upgrade in question.
6. Many people posed the questions around the building being almost deserted. We have edited as many people out of the footage as possible (there weren’t that many people in the footage). We cannot show faces due to the dangers that people may face if they are seen publicly. We are not in control of who or how many people access the hospital.
The following is an excerpt of the Senate Inquiry Final Report. Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru.
There is a link at the end to the full report.
3.122 The Department has advised that, outside of the RPC, upgrades have been undertaken on a ward and dental area of the Nauru hospital, and that asylum seekers may access these services:
The Department funded minor upgrades to Ward 4 and the dental area at the Nauru hospital to ensure these facilities are serviceable to transferees and refugees who require medical care at the hospital. The repairs to Ward 4 included painting, fly screen replacement, refurbishment of the toilet and shower area, new ceiling fans and gutter repairs. The repairs to the dental area included replacement of a mouldy ceiling, painting and new airconditioning.
3.123 The department further advised of upgrades to equipment and supplies at the hospital including a blood bank and neonatal equipment, in July 2015.
3.124 The capacity of the Republic of Nauru hospital to undertake surgery was questioned by Dr Peter Young, who told the committee about a surgical procedure conducted at the hospital which resulted in complications:
One of the most striking ones was a case of a botched surgery that occurred in Nauru. There was a patient who had a procedure done at the local hospital. There was a misdiagnosis in that case and there were very serious post-surgical complications that occurred that resulted in the person needing to be evacuated and spending time in an intensive care unit in Australia.
3.125 The patient in the example given by Dr Young was said to be an asylum seeker within the RPC. However, the department advised that they were aware of only one instance of a surgery which resulted in complications, where a staff member of a service provider underwent surgery on Nauru in which:
…a small piece of surgical glove was left in the wound and became infected. That officer was evacuated using commercial flight from the island and underwent corrective surgery in Australia. It is the only case that we are aware of.
3.126 A series of photographs of the Republic of Nauru hospital were provided to the committee which showed rooms and amenities in a state of disrepair, with inadequate safety precautions and unfinished renovations. It is not clear whether these photographs were taken before or after the upgrades referred to by the department.
Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru