Relief as GP wins deportation reprieve

2 minute read

Sydney GP Dr Nasrin Haque has spoken of her relief after a last-gasp reversal of a decision not to deport her family


Sydney GP Dr Nasrin Haque has spoken of her relief after an 11th-hour reversal of a decision to deport her family on the groundsher autistic daughter would pose a burden to Australia.

Dr Haque, who has lived in Australia for eight years and whose parents and two siblings are Australian citizens, had been told to buy an air ticket for her daughter Sumaya, 16, and present it to immigration officials by last Saturday. 

On Friday, as she was preparing to travel into the city from her home in western Sydney, the GP received a phone call from Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to say he had decided to intervene in the case.

We are very happy. I have been waiting a long time for this – eight years, Dr Haque told The Medical Republic after learning the family would now be considered for permanent residence.

The AMA last week said Mr Hawkes earlier refusal to reconsider Sumayas visa application because of her developmental delay, which has been described as mild to moderate, showed immense callousness. 

“This is not just wrong because Dr Nasrin Haque is a doctor, this would be the wrong thing to do to someone, no matter their profession,” AMA NSW President Professor Brad Frankum said.

“The fact that an Australian resident of eight years, whose parents and siblings live here, can be faced with deportation due to illness is reprehensible.”

Professor Frankum said it added “insult to injury” that Mr Hawke had dismissed Dr Haque’s bid to remain in Australia as not being in the public interest.

“I would suggest her patients would argue with that,” he said.

More than 32,000 people signed a petition on behalf of the GP and federal MP Susan Templeman also came to the defence of Dr Haque, who was originally from Bangladesh but faced deportation to Hungary.

“I am told that Dr Haque’s willingness to serve her community as a general practitioner is one of the reasons her practice’s Pitt Town clinic remained open despite significant staffing changes,” the Labor MP said.

Given Dr Haque’s contribution to the community’s health and wellbeing, Sumaya should not be thought of purely as a burden on the healthcare system, she said.

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