Oz minister helps immigrant surgeon avoid deportation due to age

Published:  26 Apr at 6 PM
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A Romanian-born GP, skin cancer specialist and surgeon told she must leave the country next year due to her age has been given a verbal guarantee of an extended stay by Brendan O’Connor.

Mihaila Guguila, 52, was refused permanent residency by immigration officials due to her age, with post-July 2012 rules stating that only those under 49 are allowed residency status. She has worked at the Lister House Clinic in Horsham and the Australian Skin, Face and Body Cancer Clinic for over a year and is a popular specialist.

Originally, Guguila had not planned to stay on in the region, but made friends she now considers are like family to her and had decided to put down roots and become a permanent resident. Her colleagues at the clinics and her patients were outraged at immigration’s decisions, and are supporting her efforts to stay in the country after her visa expires in a year’s time.

Horsham’s mayor, David Grimble, has promised the local council will fight to have her remain in the town, and says it’s disgusting that a highly experienced and popular medical professional should be forced to leave. Help, however, would appear to be at hand via the newly-appointed Australian Immigration Minister, Brendan O’Connor, who is working to change the 49-year cut-off point for permanent residency.

Yesterday, O’Connor promised Guguila that she would be able to stay in the country and that he would help not only her but many others in the same plight. The 50-year age restriction seems to fly in the face of efforts to attract skilled, experienced practitioners to rural towns such as Horsham.
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