AMA backs calls of Medical Colleges to maintain Medevac

17 Oct 2019

The AMA supports calls by the Presidents of Medical Colleges for the Australian Parliament to maintain the existing Medevac legislation and the Independent Health Advice Panel (IHAP) process. This reflects the AMA position and years of strong AMA advocacy to ensure quality health care for asylum seekers and refugees.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that the AMA – with the backing of the Colleges – has consistently proposed and supported a body of clinical experts, independent of government, with the power to investigate and advise on the health and welfare of asylum seekers and refugees.

“Today’s united call from the esteemed Medical Colleges is consistent with the long-held AMA position that those who are in the care of the Australian Government and who are seeking, or who have been granted, asylum within Australia have the right to receive appropriate medical care without discrimination, regardless of citizenship, visa status, or ability to pay,” Dr Bartone said.

“Asylum seekers and refugees in Australia or in offshore detention, in the care of the Australian Government, should be treated with compassion, respect, and dignity.”

Dr Bartone said that he has recently reiterated the AMA’s strong support for Medevac and the ongoing work of IHAP with the Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, and the Home Affairs Department Chief Medical Officer, Dr Parbodh Gogna.

Read the full media release here.