Most people transferred under medevac law now living in community detention

None of the 180 asylum seekers transferred under the contentious medevac legislation are currently being treated in a hospital, with the majority now living in community detention in Australia.

As the Morrison government steps up its attempts to scrap the laws, which give doctors more say in emergency medical transfers of offshore asylum seekers to Australia, new figures released by the Home Affairs Department show 418 valid applications for treatment have been lodged by asylum seekers held offshore.

Scott Morrison is prepared ‘to play hardball’ attempting to repeal the medevac legislation.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

As of Tuesday about 466 asylum-seekers and refugees remain offshore – 208 on Papua New Guinea and 258 on Nauru – with two-thirds having now applied to be brought to Australia under the laws.

The federal government has argued the laws weaken border security and criticised the lack of mechanism for immigration officials to return those brought to Australia for treatment back to a regional processing country or third country once they are healthy.


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