Failing The Health Requirement?
A German doctor hoping to gain permanent residency in Australia said Friday he will fight an immigration department decision denying his application because his son has Down syndrome. Bernhard Moeller came to Australia with his family two years ago to help fill a doctor shortage in a rural area of Victoria state.
His temporary work visa is valid until 2010, but his application for permanent residency was rejected this week. The immigration department said Moeller's 13-year-old son, Lukas, "did not meet the health requirement."
"A medical officer of the Commonwealth assessed that his son's existing medical condition was likely to result in a significant and ongoing cost to the Australian community," a departmental spokesman said in a statement issued Thursday by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
"This is not discrimination. A disability in itself is not grounds for failing the health requirement — it is a question of the cost implications to the community," the statement said.
Let me try to figure this one out. He went to this country to fulfill a need for doctors. Now he can't stay because his son is "sick?"