Fact sheet

Fact Check: Will the medevac bill allow healthy refugees on Nauru and Manus to come to Australia?

Asylum seekers Liberal Party of Australia Offshore detention

Immigration Minister David Coleman is critical of the so-called "medevac bill", saying it required a a very low threshold for bringing refugees and asylum seekers to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru. Indeed, the legislation didn't even require people to be sick in order to be transferred, Mr Coleman said. But Mr Coleman's claim is spin. The bill governs the transfer of people from offshore processing countries in order to receive medical or psychiatric "treatment or assessment". Experts told Fact Check that it could be possible for a person to be moved to Australia for assessment and found not to be sick, but that the transfer would need to be based on medical needs. In order for a transfer to be recommended, two treating doctors would need to be of the opinion it was necessary because the treatment or further assessment could not be performed in the regional processing country. The transfer could then be refused by the Immigration Minister if they "reasonably believed" it to be unnecessary. That decision could only be overruled if, after a further clinical assessment, the majority of an eight-member independent medical panel viewed the transfer as necessary.
Verdict: Spin

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