Medevac Bill: Restoring Compassion and Reversing Cruelty

13 Feb, 2019

The Australian Council for International Development has welcomed the passing of amendments in the Senate to give doctors a greater say on whether people in offshore detention should be brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Commenting Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID, said:

“Today, the Parliament has taken a step to restoring compassion and reversing the infliction of cruelty on people in Australia’s care. For too long we have been harming sick people, condemning them to a life without hope.

“ACFID congratulates the Australian Labor Party, Dr Kerryn Phelps MP, key crossbench members and the Australian Greens in creating consensus on this Bill and the coalition of organisations who have pushed for dignity and humanity in Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.  

“In 2017, in an independent humanitarian assessment, ACFID found that the situation on Manus showed a gross and tragic failure of the Australian Government to fulfil its responsibility to care for people it had detained offshore. Appropriate medical treatment and psychosocial care was urgent then, it is more urgent now.

“The Government should quickly establish the independent medical review panel and allow it to assess medical records of the most urgent cases.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

In 2017, an ACFID-led fact-finding mission warned of an impending mental health crisis on Manus Island. Further information.

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