Will your MP #BackTheBill?

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A year ago, it was unthinkable. After five years in offshore detention, the 119 kids and their families that were languishing on Nauru are off the island. They're finally getting the medical care they need.1 

It's an extraordinary win – but for the thousand people still detained on Manus and Nauru, the horrific medical crisis continues. In just days, a bill in Parliament could change all that. 

Can you email your MP right now and call on them to #BackTheBill and end the medical crisis offshore? 

On Manus and Nauru, doctors' orders are constantly overridden by bureaucrats, people are forced to wait years for treatment and the Government is fighting in court to prevent sick people getting the treatment they need in Australia.2,3 

It's a broken, toxic system that's resulted in lives being lost – but that could be about to change. The Urgent Medical Treatment Bill put forward by the crossbench last year will make it to the House of Representatives next week. Like the vote last year in the Senate, the vote in the House of Representatives will go down to the wire, and staring down a historic and humiliating defeat on the floor of Parliament, the Morrison Government is gearing up for a fight. 

This morning, Prime Minister Morrison announced a sham medical process that would leave the Immigration Minister – not medical professionals – in charge of deciding who can get medical treatment in Australia.4 

It's a clear bid to chip away at the slim majority that would get the House of Representatives crossbenchers bill across the line and undermine a proper medical process. 

Together, we need to call on our MPs to stand strong and vote to make sure doctors' orders, not the whims of politicians, determine the treatment for sick people in offshore detention. 

Can you email your MP right now and call on them to #BackTheBill and end the medical crisis offshore? 

Under the Coalition Government, 12 people have died in offshore detention. Last year, the Queensland Coroner found that bureaucrats in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection failed to follow doctor's orders that Hamid Kehazaei be brought to Australia for urgent treatment. He died as a result.5 

Despite thousands of doctors and major medical colleges demanding action, Morrison has proposed a fig-leaf process intended to undercut the crossbench bill. It's pure politics, and our movement won't let the Government get away with it. 

Together with lawyers and caseworkers, we forced the Morrison Government to evacuate sick children and their families detained on Nauru. Together, with politicians of conscience leading the charge, we can force the Government to put in place a proper medical transfer process in offshore detention. 

But with just a week until Parliament returns, Morrison will be pulling out every trick in the book, trying to make MPs wobble. Together, we need to tell our MPs just how broken the system is and call on them to #BackTheBill. 

Can you email your MP and call on them to #BackTheBill so sick people on Manus and Nauru can get the treatment they need? 

Right now we have a chance to make sure doctors have the final say in how sick people detained on Manus and Nauru are treated. 

We refuse to let Dutton and Morrison play politics with people's lives. 

In determination, 

Shen, Ellen, Renaire and Neha for the GetUp team 

References: 
[1] 'Final four children held on Nauru to be resettled with families in US', The Guardian, 3 February 2018. 
[2] 'The secret committee determining medical transfers from Nauru and Manus Island', ABC, 4 December 2018. 
[3] 'Dutton's department challenges federal court's authority to order Nauru transfers', The Guardian, 26 October 2018. 
[4] 'Greater assurance': Government sets up medical panel to oversee asylum seeker transfers, SBS, 4 February 2019. 
[5] 'Hamid Kehazaei: Australia responsible for 'preventable' death of asylum seeker', The Guardian, 30 July 2018.
 
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