Medical practitioners are best placed to make decisions about the medical treatment a person needs

February 8, 2019

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) repeats its call on the Australian Government to urgently commit to ensuring a safe and a viable future for every person transferred from Australia to Nauru and Papua New Guinea in line with Australia’s international human rights obligations.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent comments about the Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018  do not reflect the purpose  of the Bill, which seeks to ensure that people who are assessed as requiring medical treatment by two or more doctors are transferred to Australia so they can access the treatment they need,” said Jessica Bayley, Chair of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee.

“Medical practitioners are best placed to make decisions about the medical treatment a person needs. If the Bill results in people being transferred to Australia due to an urgent need for medical treatment not available in the regional processing country, the Bill should be passed without delay.”

“Offshore processing has created inhumane and dangerous conditions that have caused significant mental and physical damage to individuals. Twelve people have lost their lives, including eight people who have died as a result of suicide and inadequate healthcare. As medical practitioners have warned, this number will continue to rise if the Government does not act.”

“Instead of demonising people who have already suffered for many years and who are entitled to seek Australia’s protection under international human rights law, the Australian Government should be focused on preventing any more deaths as a result of offshore processing.”

Contact: Matt Mitchell, ALHR media manager 0431 980 365.