Taiwan Agreed To Take Australia’s Sick Refugees. One Problem: They Don’t Want To Go.

Exclusive: Australia repeatedly asks sick refugees to fly to Taiwan for treatment, even after they've refused to go, in order to uphold its harsh immigration policies.

BuzzFeed News
Date: November 24, 2019
By: Hannah Ryan, BuzzFeed News Reporter, Australia

The island of Nauru.

Australia’s determined efforts to keep sick refugees away from its shores have been stymied by patients who repeatedly refuse to fly to Taiwan for medical treatment, documents obtained by BuzzFeed News reveal.

Under a deal struck in 2017, Taiwan agreed to temporarily take in sick refugees and asylum seekers detained by Australia on the tiny Pacific Island nation of Nauru when they required complex medical care.

The secretive deal was an expensive but apparently neat solution to the dilemma created by Australia’s hardline immigration policies. Asylum seekers who arrived by boat following 2013 were sent to island detention on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea, and were unable to settle in Australia.

But as detainee health deteriorated and public outcry rose, a second policy mandated these people also could not travel to Australia for medical treatment unless their condition signalled death or significant, permanent disability, and they could not be treated elsewhere.    [FULL  STORY]

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