Fact sheet

Fact Check: Could Richard Di Natale and Bob Brown act as medical advisers on the transfer of refugees under proposed legislation?

Asylum seekers Liberal Party of Australia Medical law

The debate over medical transfers of asylum seekers from offshore processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru has continued, with the House of Representatives preparing to vote on an amendment that would see sick refugees brought to Australia for treatment. But the proposals contained in the amendment have been strongly resisted by the Coalition. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton questioned the influence medical practitioners would have in making transfer decisions as a result of the changes, and suggested that Greens figures Bob Brown and Richard Di Natale, both of whom have practised as doctors in the past, could be among those qualified to provide the medical advice used to justify a transfer. But the two men dispute this. RMIT ABC Fact Check investigated and found Mr Dutton is drawing a long bow. According to the proposals, in order to be able to advise on the transfer of refugees to Australia for medical treatment, a doctor would first need to be registered ' neither Mr Brown nor Senator Di Natale are registered medical practitioners. While there is always the potential for the former and current Greens' leaders to re-register as doctors, neither have indicated they would undertake the lengthy process.
Verdict: Drawing a long bow

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