Australia

Medevac law becoming more unworkable says government

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The Morrison government believes more holes have been opened in the Medevac laws by a Federal Court ruling.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar says changes to the medevac laws are "ridiculous" and are just opening more holes in legislation that the Morrison government wants to repeal.

A Federal Court ruling last week reignited the political debate over the laws that allow people to be transferred from offshore detention to Australia on medical reasons, after deciding doctors didn't need to see a patient face-to-face for approval.

"I think that is a very good example of why these laws are completely unworkable, impractical and, I don't think ultimately, in our national interest," Mr Sukkar told Sky News on Sunday.

He said the laws - that were forced through the parliament earlier this year by the Labor opposition and crossbenchers - had done nothing to enhance the integrity of Australia's borders.

"If they don't assist that process ... I think it strengthens our argument for why they should be repealed," Mr Sukkar said.

However, a report in the Nine newspapers say the Medevac expert panel that the government warned would open the "floodgates" and admit sick refugees and asylum seekers to Australia has been used just nine times since the law was passed.

The vast majority of all Medevac applications have been waved through by the government before reaching the final medical body.

The government has approved 31 medical transfers since the laws were introduced four months ago, while nine were rejected, which the expert panel overturned two and upheld seven, the report said.

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