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Friends of Biloela family claim three-year-old was ‘denied medical treatment’

Gary Adshead
Article image for Friends of Biloela family claim three-year-old was ‘denied medical treatment’

The family friend of a three-year-old detainee in Perth Children’s Hospital, who was medically evacuated from Christmas Island claim the girl was denied medical attention at the facility.

Tharnicaa Murugappan is being treated for a blood infection after developing pneumonia which went untreated.

The Department of Home Affairs has strongly denied any allegations of mistreatment.

But Angela Fredericks told 6PR’s Gary Adshead the girl wasn’t given adequate care at the detention centre for ten days.

“This family due to being detained, were actually denied medical treatment,” she claimed.

“All of the dignity of these parents, to actually parent their children and look after them is not being met.

“She was just being give paracetamol and was told it is nothing serious.”

The three-year-old is now in a stable condition but Ms Fredericks said it shouldn’t have got to that stage.

“We have been told that doctors have found that it was untreated pneumonia which actually caused the blood infection,” she said.

“She is now getting the appropriate treatment however they are still concerned about her white blood cell count.”

Her father and sister remain on Christmas Island and advocates have launched a fresh plea for the family to be resettled in Australia.

“Sri Lanka is not a safe place for Tamils and it is not a safe place for this family,” Ms Fredericks said.

Press PLAY to hear her plea to the federal government 

In a statement the Australian Border Force denied any allegations of inaction or mistreatment of individuals in its care.

“The Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force are committed to the welfare of the detainees within Australia’s Immigration Detention network,” the statement reads.

“Healthcare services for detainees on Christmas Island are broadly comparable with those available within the Australian community under the Australian public health system.”

Gary Adshead
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