Media Release: Hospitalâ€™s refusal of care to international students highlights human rights concerns
Media reports that the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital has refused to admit international students for non-emergency obstetrics and gynaecology care, irrespective of whether they have medical insurance, highlights the need for improved protection for the rights of international students.
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) President Ms Jeannie Rea said:
“Australia continues to promote itself as a safe destination for overseas students to undertake quality higher education studies.”
The decision by some public hospital to refuse non emergency treatment to international students is symptomatic of these concerns.
However, our reputation has suffered in recent years due to issues with student’s safety, lack of student support services and accusations of racial discrimination.
In 2009, the Australian Human Right Commission found that instances of racial harassment, abuse and violence directed at international students were symptoms of a whole range of human rights issues that needed to be addressed.
Despite numerous Government reviews and policy changes at both the State and Federal levels it is clear Australia still has some way to go if it is to fully address its moral obligation to ensure a duty of care to international students.
While International students are important in terms of the health and diversity of Australia’s higher education sector they are also global citizens and Australian residents.
Up to 40% of international students are engaged in the workforce and around 20% go on to become permanent residents with a wide range of skills and qualifications.
“In promoting Australia as an equitable, safe and democratic country to undertake studies, we also have an inherent duty of care to ensure this is the case.”
For more information or comment contact:
Jeannie Rea NTEU President: 04034 609 531
Andrew Nette NTEU Media Officer: 0431 217 131
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