6000 doctors now back Nauru evacuations as Dr Nicole Montana ordered to leave island

6000 doctors now back Nauru evacuations as Dr Nicole Montana ordered to leave island

Dr Nicole Montana, a senior medical officer for Australia’s immigration processing centre on Nauru, was arrested last night on the island, according to media reports.

The Guardian is reporting that Montana was arrested and ordered to leave the island, and mentions a source that claims officers from the Australian Border Force had requested police not handcuff her.

It also says a spokeswoman from IHMS, Australia’s health contractor, said Montana was stood down from her position, “for a breach of regional processing centre rules.” This afternoon, the ABC reported that Montana was detained for taking a photograph of a child being treated at the facility. Photographs are forbidden in order to protect against leaks to the media and advocacy groups.

The move comes as 6000 doctors have now signed a petition urging the Australian Government to take urgent action on removing critically ill children and their families from Nauru. The petition was read in Parliament overnight by Greens MP Adam Bandt, after the Prime Minister did not accept the letter in person on Monday.

“Medical experts, including doctors who have worked on Nauru, have spoken repeatedly about their concerns. They report widespread, significant deteriorations in physical and mental health,” reads the open letter.

The letter was co-authored by Dr Neela Janakiramanan and Dr Sara Townsend.

The deportation of the Australian doctor also follows Medecins Sans Frontieres calling for urgent evacuations from the island, and sharing emotional and detailed analysis the mental health conditions of the asylum seekers and refugees on the island. MSF were also recently suddenly asked to leave the island.

Also this week, three Liberal MPs, including Julia Banks, have demanded Australia move to evacuate children and their families.

Dr Nicole Montana only recently replaced Dr Christopher Jones in September, after his visa was cancelled.

Montana is a doctor from Adelaide, who has worked with the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre, and has a strong interest in women’s health.

Stay Smart! Get Savvy!

Get Women's Agenda in your inbox