#DetentionHarmsHealth: Australian medical students rally against offshore detention
Media release April 9th, 2019
Australian medical students will rally nationwide this Sunday to call for an end to offshore detention of refugees and asylum seekers.
The students are pushing for a change to policy that jeopardises asylum seekers’ health, Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) President, Jessica Yang said.
“People fleeing hardship and war are vulnerable; subjecting them to offshore detention has a devastating impact on their mental and physical wellbeing,” Ms Yang said.
“It is unacceptable that we see deaths in detention because of suicide and treatable illnesses.
“Critics opposed to ending offshore detention should be aware that Australia’s current model costs us billions of taxpayer dollars - ending it benefits everyone.”
AMSA is continuing long-term advocacy efforts to end offshore detention through its Crossing Borders project. AMSA organised its #DetentionHarmsHealth rally in 2018 and is continuing its participation at the coal-face at this year’s Palm Sunday rallies across the country.
“Medical students see advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people as part of a doctor’s job. We are in the privileged position to be heard and so must speak for the voiceless” AMSA Crossing Borders Coordinator, Jackie Maher said.
“Generosity, compassion and the idea of a fair go are at the centre of Australian identity. Australia’s future doctors stand by those values and want to aid those in need.
“We are marching for a fair Australia that lives up to these values.”
AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students.
AMSA Crossing Borders is also launching its National Refugee and Asylum Seeker Awareness Month (NRAAM) this weekend.
AMSA 2019 Public Relations Officer