Dr David Gillespie comments on why he voted to repeal Medevac Bill

Gillespie says medevac sends the 'wrong message'

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie says a federal law regarding medical treatment for refugees and asylum seekers sends the message the government is not in control and would encourage more people to come to Australia illegally.

Dr Gillespie voted in favour of repealing the Medevac Bill, in line with majority from the Coalition Government on July 25.

The government used its majority in the House of Representatives to push for the repeal.

Under the medevac laws, an independent panel of expert medical professionals have the final say on all off-shore refugees seeking mainland treatment, unless the refugee poses a risk to national security or has a serious criminal conviction.

Dr Gillespie and other politicians from the Morrison Government want the final say on offshore medical treatment to return to the Minister for Immigration.

Dr Gillespie said the system wasn't broken before the medevac laws came into play.

Politicians from the Coalition Government argue refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru already have access to adequate healthcare.

"The medical situation on these islands is better than many of our regional towns," Dr Gillespie said.

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese addressed the House of Representatives. and said the Labor Party supported the legislation 'because of our commitment to basic humanity'.

"That basic commitment says that if someone is sick then you should look after them and give them care," Mr Albanese said during his address.

Mr Albanese said the bill to repeal the medevac laws should be rejected.

"It will undermine legislation that is working, that's consistent with the framework, that doesn't provide any pull factors and that's providing health care for people in need," he said.

"That is something that is just basic decency, basic humanity, and that's why the parliament should continue to support the medevac legislation."

Dr Gillespie said people and children on the islands are treated like anyone else, as they can walk around on the island during the day and are only required to sleep in the accommodation required at night.

As a doctor himself, Dr Gillespie said he's confident in the Minister's ability to give the final decision about the appropriate medical care for those in need.

"The Minister receives extensive advice," he said.

Dr Gillespie raised concerns that under the medevac laws, 'two random doctors' could recommend offshore medical treatment, without face to face contact.

Dr Gillespie said since the Coalition Government came into power 900 people from the islands have received medical treatment in Australia.

The Senate will consider the Medevac Bill repeal after a parliamentary committee examines it and reports back in October.

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