Foundation House supports retention of “Medivac” Law
In March 2019, the federal Parliament passed the “Medivac” law, establishing a new procedure for determining whether asylum seekers or recognised refugees who have been transferred by our government to Nauru or Papua New Guinea should be brought to Australia for medical treatment.
At the time, we were of the view that the decisions made by public servants and the Minister for Home Affairs under the previous system about medical transfers had sometimes functioned significantly more slowly than medical personnel indicated was necessary. We were also aware of instances where medical advice recommending transfer had been rejected for apparently non-medical reasons. For these reasons, we welcomed the passage of the legislation (Our statement is here).
The evidence available to Foundation House suggests that the new arrangements have had an appropriate impact. It has not meant that large numbers of people have been transferred without medical need, nor have there been other seriously adverse consequences.
Foundation House, therefore, asks Members of Parliament not to support the Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019 currently being examined by a Senate Committee, which would repeal the transfer procedure introduced in March.