Just a little over a week ago, the Australian government buckled under mounting pressure to bring a dying refugee to Australia for palliative care.
The doctor’s open letter on this website contributed to Ali being brought to Australia. It contains the names and qualifications of 2268 doctors and medical students.
The group who signed are not a formal lobby group or political persuasion. There are professors, general practitioners, specialists from every field including palliative care, even medical students’ names. It includes a significant number of thought leaders, who regularly advise our government, and international bodies like the UN & WHO. There are researchers and practitioners, educators and publicly known figures.
Most of the doctors who signed are not regularly in the public forum. They work outside the political and public spaces, seeking to provide excellent and compassionate care for their patients in every day Australia. They work in both rural and metropolitan locations. They work with finite resources, often facing unequal access and uneven quality of service for their own patients.
In signing this letter, doctors agreed that Ali’s care was inadequate on Nauru. He needed medical care in Australia. He is no more or less deserving than their own patients. They signed to hope for lessened suffering and more equitable access. They signed to ask the Australian government to take responsibility for those under it’s care.
I would like to thank each doctor for adding their voice. It was no small thing to ask, and I’m proud and humbled by every name.
Dr Sara Townend