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3/12/2018

Statement on the healthcare arrangements on Manus Island and Nauru

Nauru

The Department of Home Affairs supports the Government of Nauru to implement regional processing arrangements, including contracting health services to ensure that refugees, asylum seekers and non-refugees are provided with a range of health, welfare and support services. This has not changed.

Through the contracted health services provider, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), general practitioner-led health care clinics are open seven days a week at the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) Clinic. There is also after-hours IHMS medical staffing at the RPC Clinic to respond to after-hours medical emergencies. Health services comprise of primary healthcare and mental healthcare, including torture and trauma counselling services. Health services are provided by a range of healthcare professionals including general practitioners, psychiatrists, counsellors, mental health nurses and specialists who provide clinical assessment and treatment.

As at 30 November 2018, there are 61 contracted health professionals, including 29 mental health professionals providing services to  refugees, asylum seekers and non-refugees on Nauru. This is a ratio of approximately one health care professional to every eight refugees, asylum seekers or non-refugees and one mental health professional to every 17  refugees, asylum seekers or non-refugees. 

Refugees, asylum seekers and non-refugees can also access health services through the Republic of Nauru Hospital.

When essential health care is not available in Nauru, specialists provide visiting clinics across a range of clinical needs, for example orthopaedics, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, gynaecology and optometry. Medical transfers to a third country may also be considered, including to Australia. The Department has a decision making framework to consider medical transfers to Australia which includes the advice of a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth.  Transfers for medical treatment are considered on a case by case basis and no one is denied health care.

All refugees, asylum seekers and non-refugees in Nauru are free to move around the island; no one is in detention. 

Manus PNG

The Government’s contracted health services provider, Pacific International Hospital, delivers health care to refugees, asylum seekers and non-refugees in Manus Island, PNG, from a clinic based at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre. After-hours healthcare is also available at the East Lorengau Hospital (the local hospital).  Healthcare is delivered by medical officers, primary care nurses, paramedics, laboratory technicians, mental health nurses, psychiatrists, radiologists, general nurses and emergency trained medical officers.

Pacific International Hospital maintain a 24-hour emergency medical evacuation capability. Refugees or asylum seekers or non-refugees who require specialist services not available at the East Lorengau Transit Centre Clinic may be referred to the local hospital or to Port Moresby to receive additional clinically indicated healthcare.

Where appropriate health care isn’t available in PNG, medical transfers to a third country are considered, including to Australia. The Department has a decision making framework to consider medical transfers which includes the advice of a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth.  Transfers for medical treatment are considered on a case by case basis and no one is denied health care.

No refugees or asylum seekers or non-refugees in PNG are in detention.