Immigration

'A humanitarian crisis': Crossbenchers introduce asylum seeker medical bill

0:00

Sick asylum seekers in offshore detention would be urgently evacuated to Australia for treatment under changes being proposed by a group of independent MPs.

Sick asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru would be more easily flown to Australia for medical and psychiatric treatment, under proposed laws being introduced by several crossbench MPs.

A bill being introduced to federal parliament on Thursday would require the urgent evacuation of any asylum seeker who is ill and unable to be treated offshore, on the recommendation of two or more doctors.

Independent MP for the seat of Wentworth Kerryn Phelps wants sick asylum seekers brought to Australia as soon as possible.
Independent MP for the seat of Wentworth Kerryn Phelps wants sick asylum seekers brought to Australia as soon as possible.
AAP

It would also require the urgent medical transfer of all asylum seeker children on Nauru.

"This is a humanitarian crisis, this is a medical solution," independent MP Kerryn Phelps told reporters in Canberra, saying she has given notice she will introduce the bill to the Lower House on December 3.

"“It makes sense, it is common sense, it makes medical sense and it is something I think we can use as a template to move forward on these sorts of issues."

To bring the matter to debate, the new independent MP will need a majority however - that would require backing from Labor, all of her fellow crossbench and at least one more vote.

Bob Katter told Sky News he won't be supporting the bill.

"“They are not fleeing from, they are fleeing to," he said of the asylum seekers in offshore detention.

 “Those people who want the door open ... when you open the door, and let it be on your conscience, that 2,500 people who perish coming here."

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch