The release was sent with 70% of pages (69/99) having at least half of the content redacted.
We're appalled by the culture of secrecy surrounding offshore asylum seeker processing, particularly when it comes to what criteria are applied when deciding who will be sent offshore. We already know that people with significant kidney disease, diabetes, complicated pregnancies, pre-existing torture and/or trauma, pre-existing and continuing mental health difficulties and more are sent to Nauru and Manus Island on a semi-regular basis. There, they face inadequate access to trained medical staff and inadequate facilities to care for complex problems (IHMS' medical services contract is to provide primary care only).
One asylum seeker yesterday reported that he thought he was having a heart attack, and approached healthcare staff at Nauru RPC. He was refused treatment, so he slashed his chest with a blade to show outwardly how much internal distress he was in, and how serious the problem was. He waited a further 2.5 hours for medical care at the regional hospital. He returned with a number of stitches and extensive bruising.
In light of the government's pledge to process asylum seekers within 48 hours, it has become even more important to know which asylum seekers are chosen to be sent offshore and why. The President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians believes this quick turnaround pledge amounts to medical negligence and puts lives unnecessarily at risk, and we agree.
We're currently analysing the documents, but have already lodged formal review requests with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.