Responding to mandatory immigration detention: lessons for the health care community

Ryan Essex and David Isaacs
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50366
Published online: 14 October 2019

After 25 years of advocacy, what can the health care community learn from recent reforms of Australian immigration detention?

In February 2019, the Australian Government announced that it had removed all refugee and asylum seeker children from offshore detention in Nauru.1 Soon after, the Australian Parliament passed the Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018.2 This legislation strengthens the position of doctors to recommend a transfer of an ill person to Australia for treatment from offshore detention centres in Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) and Nauru. While this has been welcome news, these developments are tempered by the fact that the government is seeking to repeal this legislation and has maintained an increasingly combative stance on these issues.

  • Ryan Essex1,2,3
  • David Isaacs1,4

  • 1 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 University of Greenwich, London, UK
  • 3 Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  • 4 Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.