An asylum seeker mother reportedly separated from her newborn son was afforded access rights and treatment in line with community standards, a report says.
An independent review into claims an asylum seeker mother was separated from her newborn baby has found adequate access and treatment provisions were in place.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed his regret in November 2013 at reports that the woman, Mrs Latifa, was separated from her baby when she was moved back to a Brisbane detention centre as her son remained at a community hospital.
Immigration and Border Protection Department secretary Martin Bowles on Tuesday told a Senate estimates hearing that a review into the matter is complete.
“Mrs Latifa herself has confirmed that she was well looked after and had access to her baby while (he) remained in the hospital after her discharge,” Mr Bowles said.
The review was commissioned by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and conducted by an “independent health adviser”, he added.
“The key findings of that review were that Mrs Latifa was not denied access to her baby.
“Access to her baby while she was in a special care nursery at the Mater Mother’s Hospital was commensurate with community standards.
“The level of care Mrs Latifa received was appropriate, of high standard and no different to the care provided to other mothers at the hospital.”
However the review did produce five recommendations, which have been accepted by the department.
“Four relate to the ways to improve communication and liaison … and one recommendation relates to providing detainees with more information about what they can expect,” Mr Bowles said.
Care for Mrs Latifa and her son continues “as we speak” in line with Australian standards, he added.