Fijian deportee from New Zealand dies from kidney failure

Published:  29 May at 6 PM
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A Fijian immigrant living in Auckland, New Zealand until he was deported due to his medical condition has died in a Fiji hospital.

Sanil Kumar had emigrated to New Zealand on a work visa before he fell ill with kidney failure, and had been on dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant for some time when he was deported. A suitable family member donor had been found and the sick man’s community had been raising money to enable the transplant to take place in an Auckland hospital.

Labour MP Dr Rajen Prasad, a supporter of Kumar’s cause, had warned that Kumar would die if he was deported, as the appropriate dialysis treatment is not offered in Fijian hospitals. Dr Prasad had advised the immigration authorities that they would be sending him to his death, but the deportation went ahead in spite of his warning.

Kumar died in Fiji’s Lautoka Hospital yesterday from kidney failure after contracting an infection he was too weak to resist. Dr Prasad has accused the immigration department of heartlessness, saying that the Ministry of Health was fully aware of the deadly risk of his deportation.

Nikki Kaye, New Zealand’s associate minister for immigration, defended the deportation decision, saying that the Ministry of Health had assured her that Kumar would receive appropriate treatment in a Fijian hospital. Before he died, Kumar refused to give a privacy waiver, leaving her unable to discuss his case in the public domain.
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