World Sick Manus Island refugees not given interpreters

18:06  10 august  2018
18:06  10 august  2018 Source:   radionz.co.nz

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They have all been given the option of permanent residency in Papua New Guinea, or applying to resettle in Cambodia or Nauru, the location of a second offshore facility run by the Australian Manus Island Refugees , Ordered to Leave Camp, Fear for Their Safety OCT. 31, 2017.

Повторите попытку позже. Опубликовано: 23 нояб. 2017 г. Courtesy to Manus Alert. Категория. Новости и политика.

Protesters holding banners march in Sydney to urge the Australian government to end the refugee crisis on Manus Island on November 4, 2017.© PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images Protesters holding banners march in Sydney to urge the Australian government to end the refugee crisis on Manus Island on November 4, 2017. Refugees receiving medical treatment in Papua New Guinea are no longer provided with interpreters, a Kurdish refugee says.

Despite a promise that interpreters would be available, the English speaking Kurd said he had to volunteer to help patients and doctors communicate.

Following last year's eviction from the detention centre on Manus Island, interpretation services were withdrawn from about 600 men exiled there by Australia.

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Inside the camp, the men were desperate but determined. Sick . Hungry. Trapped. This is Manus Island . The men packing the boat with rice, cigarettes and medicine had fled war and persecution in their home countries.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has offered to take 150 of the 400 refugees and asylum seekers who have barricaded themselves in an abandoned detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

Serious inadequacies and systematic failures with the men's healthcare have since been highlighted by the United Nations, Amnesty International and the Queensland Coroner.

Kurdish asylum seeker Benham Satah has been translating for refugees in Port Moresby's Pacific International Hospital.

He said a promise to provide interpreters by telephone had not been fulfilled.

"This is a problem because the men are giving consent to procedures they don't understand," Mr Satah said.

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The Economist explainsWhat happens to the refugees on Manus Island ? But Australia has a “moral responsibility” to help “ given that the asylum-seekers were Australia-bound when they were re-directed to PNG for PNG assistance to process their refugee status”.

Ali Dorani thanks supporters after being granted artist’s residency through International Cities of Refuge Network.

"PNG Immigration put up a notice and promised telephone interpreters in Manus and also Port Moresby. Why don't we have them when we get sick?"

A refugee waiting for over a year for a hernia operation was given the wrong medication because of miscommunication, Mr Satah said.

"They apologised and said it was the wrong medicine. He was shivering for one whole night until morning," he said.

"With all the money that is being used for these contracts, providing interpreters shouldn't be hard for them but they are not doing it and people suffer."

The prevalence of mental health issues prevented many refugees from attending English lessons, previously available during their five year exile, the refugee said, meaning they often did not understand how to take medicines they were prescribed.

"They are not familiar with medical terms. It makes it very hard because there are forms that they need to sign," Mr Satah said.

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Refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island . A man barricaded inside the detention centre collapsed with heart pain. “Finally PNG immigration sent a car and picked up the sick refugee , after more than four-and-a-half hours since he collapsed.”

Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and an Iranian refugee held on Manus Island since August 2014. Although he seems to be anxious, he still photographs the sick Rohingyan refugee , another man whose eye is infected, and one who had shown him a letter.

"When the doctor gives you some medicine that you need to take in your room, you don't know how to use it. All these issues makes it hard for everyone."

General practitioner and secretary of Doctors for Refugees Paddy McLisky said refugees receiving treatment needed to be made aware of the risks.

"Informed consent is extremely important in medicine. Whenever any doctor prescribes medication to a patient or performs a surgical procedure there is always a risk, no matter how small that risk, of the patient coming to harm.

"It's terribly important that they understand the rationale for being on that medication or having that procedure and also the risks involved."

Telephone interpreters could be found in Australia, Dr McLisky said.

"I understand that in some case interpreters haven't been provided. Certainly on Nauru, there may have been interpreters at times who haven't been utilised.

"If the interpreter is on the phone and there's a good clear phone line, and the interpreter is able to speak the language adequately then I think this is an adequate service."

The PNG Immigration Authority and Pacific International Hospital have been contacted for comment.

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