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DIMIA spent $13,159 to prevent detainee treatment

DIMIA spent $13,159 to prevent proper psychiatric care for Baxter detainee

5.05.2005

Following today’s Federal Court decision that the Department of Immigration has breached its duty of care by failing to provide adequate psychiatric treatment for two Baxter detainees, Senator Kerry Nettle revealed another case where DIMIA spent $13,159 to prevent him from receiving proper psychiatric treatment.

“The government is not only neglecting immigration detainees’ mental health, but actively working to prevent proper psychiatric care,” said Senator Nettle

“Today’s Federal Court decision is yet more proof that mandatory detention is failing utterly to provide basic human rights and medical care for detainees.

“In answer to a Senate Estimates Question on Notice, DIMIA revealed that it spent $13,159 in legal costs in its attempt to prevent a detainee, Mr H, from being transferred from Baxter Detention Centre to Glenside Psychiatric Hospital in Adelaide.

“Despite obvious signs that this man was suffering a serious mental illness and repeated requests for a transfer, the Department had to be taken to court eight times before Mr H was finally transferred.

“DIMIA are not only neglecting detainees’ mental health, they are actively working to prevent appropriate psychiatric care. The Minister owes the public an explanation as to why her department spent $13,159 of taxpayers’ money to deny Mr H proper psychiatric care.

“Mr H remains in Glenside hospital and suffers a serious psychiatric illness which medical experts say was caused by the conditions in immigration detention.”

“The government’s policy of mandatory detention has created a black hole of cruelty and abuse that is wasting the courts time and taxpayers’ money. The Greens policy is for an end to mandatory detention.”

ENDS

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