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Urgent Medical Volunteers Required – Medical Evacuation Response Group

A message from the Medical Evacuation Response Group:

Since the Bill passed, a team of independent doctors has, for the first time, assessed the health of a large number of refugees and asylum seekers in PNG and Nauru. Over 120 people with life threatening conditions have been identified and approved for medical evacuation to Australia.

There are still significant challenges. Many patients in Nauru continue to suffer from severe health conditions, and an increasing number of sick asylum seekers in PNG have been placed in immigration detention without access to phones or health care. Some of these patients have medical assessments underway, or have already been approved for medical transfer.

These patients need the chance of medical assessment. The Medevac Bill is worthless unless Australian doctors- me, you, our colleagues- give our own time to understand and assess the health needs of these patients who are still in Papua New Guinea or Nauru after six years.

We urgently need at least 50 GPs, 50 emergency physicians, 50 psychiatrists, as well as doctors from most medical and surgical specialties to volunteer to undertake remote assessments. This will involve looking at medical records, and for patients in PNG, a consultation by telephone call.

Please join the large number of doctors, professors, and leaders of medical colleges who are already volunteering. We urgently need your help as we cannot address this health crisis without more volunteers.

While we are asking for a pro bono contribution, we have already arranged with all the MDOs to provide cover for volunteers.

If you are able to undertake even one assessment, please email Dr Neela Janakiramanan at: [email protected]

Many thanks,

Dr Sara Townend- Clinical Lead, Medical Evacuation Response Group (MERG)

Dr Neela Janakiramanan- Lead, Recruitment and Resource Management, MERG


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