26 May 2015

Aust and NZ refugee policies under fire

4:06 pm on 26 May 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians says the Australian government must end its maltreatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

The College's president, Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley, wants an end to mandatory detention, the release of all asylum seekers into the Australian community, improved healthcare and better support services.

He says many of the College's physicians have seen the devastating consequences of mandatory detention first-hand.

Asylum seekers in Manus Island camp

Asylum seekers in Manus Island camp Photo: supplied

Professor Talley says as doctors they are duty bound to speak out on behalf of their patients - especially since their human rights are increasingly seen as optional.

He says the government's costly policies are breaching human rights and causing significant harm, while denying appropriate health care.

Professor Talley says they are simply inhumane.

He says the College also opposes the New Zealand government's recent decision to introduce mandatory detention.