When the search for safety tears families apart

Nadia has to choose whether to buy medication or food for her family

Nadia* fled her home country with her three children, Nor, Aishah and Mo, almost five years ago, to escape persecution and the threat of sexual violence.   

Like tens of thousands of others seeking asylum in Australia, Nadia and her family can’t access Medicare while they are waiting a review unless and until they are granted refugee status. This has devastating consequences. Nadia has both diabetes and a serious autoimmune condition and relies on daily life-saving medications.  However, without access to Medicare, Nadia has to pay full price, making them unaffordable for her.  As such, she has started watering down her insulin, to make it last longer.  

Nadia’s ability to work has been limited by her deteriorating health, and the family are scraping by on her son’s hospitality wages. She often has to choose between paying the rent, buying food or getting her medication. In addition, her daughter Nor has been referred to a specialist for severe stomach pains, but they cannot afford to go. It’s hard to believe that this is happening in our country today. 

*Because Nadia and her family are still awaiting a decision on their protection claim, we’ve changed their names and hidden their faces to protect their identities.


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