Forty refugees and asylum-seekers have been medically transferred to the Australian mainland from Manus Island and Nauru since the passage of Labor-backed medevac laws, as refugee activists declare a post-election “medical crisis” in offshore detention facilities.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi helped the government stall the passage of the bill but it passed early this year after the support of former broadcaster Derryn Hinch and now-defeated left-wing independent MP Kerryn Phelps (both pictured above).
The Australian reports, doctors on Manus and Nauru say they are seeing a surge in asylum-seekers applying for medical evacuation since the re-election of the Morrison government on Saturday, with about 11 seeking assistance each day.
It’s understood 14 of the 40 now transferred were brought to Australia under the laws, which allow evacuations on the advice of two doctors, while the government bypassed the laws to order the transfer of the other 26.
A coalition of refugee groups had sought to manage the application process for medical transfers ahead of the election, fearing a flood of refugees would create the perception of a border protection crisis.
The government has vowed to repeal the bill, giving it complete control over those brought here for medical treatment.
The medevacs bring the number of temporary transferees in Australia to nearly 1000, with about 875 still in offshore detention.