The mother of an 11-year-old boy with a severely broken arm on Nauru is calling on the Federal Government to allow her son to leave the island to undergo surgery.
The boy lives in the Nauru community, outside of the detention centre, after his family were granted refugee status.
Erfan’s arm was set at the Nauru Hospital, but Australian specialists consulted by the group Doctors for Refugees say without corrective surgery, he will lose the full use of his arm.
The boy’s mother, Maryam, said immigration officials told her Australia has agreed to send doctors to provide treatment, but she does not want the surgery to be carried out at Nauru Hospital because it is poorly equipped and has unsanitary conditions.
“They will send a team from Australia, but I repeat: I was made angry because I know Nauru Hospital is not qualified to do operation on my son’s arm,” she told AM.
“Erfan needs an MRI. In Nauru, [they] don’t have MRI.
“Send Erfan anywhere, because not in Nauru, I don’t like in Nauru. In Nauru, I need to send Erfan anywhere.”
During the week, the Nauru government said its request for a medical team had been granted, but Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and the Department refused to confirm that was happening.
Mr Dutton told 2GB radio this week there were medical services available in Nauru.
“The Nauruan government obviously has the system up there to provide people with support that need it when it comes to medical attention,” he said.
‘The conditions are not sufficiently clean’
Sydney-based paediatrician Dr David Isaac, who visited Nauru in December and has been outspoken about the conditions on the island, said he understood Ms Paridari’s panic.
“She’s had some treatment, which everyone said, ‘Trust us, we’re doctors’, and the treatment has not been successful,” he said.
“Now she’s been told, ‘Oh, well, they didn’t do it successfully but we’ll do it successfully because we’re also doctors’.
“What would you feel in that setting, in a foreign country, with no-one telling you what’s going on? I think it’s completely understandable.”
Dr Isaac said the conditions of the hospital are inadequate.
“I don’t think you’d want to have your forearm set there or your child’s forearm set there,” he said.
“I don’t think Mr Peter Dutton would want to have his child’s arm set there.
“The conditions are not sufficiently clean for any of us to be happy.”
Mr Dutton has again been asked to confirm whether a medical team is being sent to Nauru.His office is yet to respond to Saturday AM’s requests for comment.