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Monday, 8 March 1999
Page: 3291

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in Parliament

The Petition of certain citizens and residents of Australia draws the attention of the House to the appalling situation of Dr Nandor Jaross and his difficulties in gaining a practice certificate to continue his outstanding medical work in Australia in the field of ophthalmology.

- he was invited to Australia by Northern Territory officials in 1987

- he was offered permanent employment in Australia

- he was offered Australian citizenship

- he fulfilled his duties as specialist ophthalmologist between 1988 and 1996 in Australia with all its duties rights and privileges carrying out approximately 1000 laser treatments and was involved in nearly 1000 eye surgeries

- he was directly made responsible to supervise trainee registrars since his arrival to Australia

- he published extensively in local and international conferences and journals

- his research in Aboriginal health is already having a major impact on the communities' health

- he was elected as member of the Australian Medical Association in 1990

- he was awarded the Ken Moo scholarship by the Northern Territory Government in 1992

- he established the first Mobile Eye Unit in the Northern Territory in 1992

- he established a sustainable system of eye service provision, in remote areas and delivered these services

- single handedly raised—one million Au$ to cover the running costs of the program

- had a major impact in the rise of community awareness of eye problems in the Northern Territory

- received numerous certificates of appreciations from local service clubs

- he was awarded the Commanding Officer's medal of the 6th Field Ambulance of the Australian Army in 1993

- WHO Fellowship awarded by the Commonwealth Department of Community Services and Health in 1993 and 1996

- awarded the Rotary International's Vocational Excellence Award in 1995

- his thesis proposal was accepted with the academic merits of a PhD by the Menzies School of Health Research in 1997

- in 1997 the Review of Eye Services ordered by the Commonwealth Minister of Health and carried out by Professor Taylor from the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists recognised the successes of Dr Jaross' efforts in eye care

- his expertise in Aboriginal health, in remote area medical services and diabetic retinopathy was registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council in 1998

Despite all of the above, Dr Jaross' qualifications are not recognised in Australia and he is barred from practising ophthalmology. Several officials on the basis on equity and fairness or on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the General Assembly resolution 217A(111) December 1948 declares that Dr Jaross has not only been treated unfairly to the point of blatant discrimination but despite his original invitation to Australia he was persecuted as well.

Your petitioners therefore pray that the House will use its endeavours to influence the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health to facilitate a method to rectify the situation in recognising and accepting his work in Australia and his qualifications to the grant of the medical licence.

Your petitioners also pray that the House will use its endeavours to influence the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health to investigate why and how Dr Jaross was persecuted while carrying out his unique work and why and how this level of service was stopped and his career cut making the patients, himself and his own family suffer despite his excellent work.

by Dr Southcott(from 1,036 citizens)