Dec 4th 2019

Medevac repeal is cruel, heartless and inhumane

In a callous and vindictive political move the government has today torn down Medevac, with Senator Lambie finally voting with the government on the repeal.

This law, which was passed in February after a historic loss on the floor of the House of Representatives, was about doctors not Dutton making medical decisions for people offshore. 

Nearly 200 people were able to get the medical care they needed under Medevac.

GetUp’s Human Rights Director Shen Narayanasamy said this government has torn down the small humanity of people being able to get the medical care they need:

“Today is a devastating day. What we’ve seen is Medevac, a law that has saved lives be ripped away. “We all remember the crisis before Medevac became law, 12 people died offshore and people faced serious delays before they received medical treatment.

“The Morrison Government has chosen to deny sick people the right to medical care, against all expert medical advice. Medevac was supported by the overwhelming medical community and a majority of everyday Australians. 

“Medevac ensured doctors, not Dutton, were the ones making medical decisions for gravely ill people off shore. To repeal this law isn’t just inhumane, it’s heartless.

“The political debate has been dominated by fear and lies spread vindictively by this government, it is disappointing that it’s led to politicians like Senator Lambie voting for the repeal.  

“The reality is that we have more than 500 people in the offshore detention centres right now. They have been there for more than 6 years. They can not stay there forever.

“Right now, the true focus needs to be on the Government. They have held power while people have died on their watch.

“It is now up to the Australian government to make sure these people still have access to the medical care they were able to receive under Medevac. They deserve nothing but a safe and secure future and that is what this Government needs to do for them.”