A Manus Island refugee attempted suicide on Wednesday, dousing himself in petrol before others intervened.
He is one of at least 35 men who have been told they will be sent from their Port Moresby motel back to the island to make way for the APEC leaders summit.
About 70 men are at the Granville Motel where they have been staying while receiving medical treatment at nearby Pacific International Hospital.
The man who attempted suicide is waiting for hernia surgery.
RNZ Pacific understands five of the refugees ordered back to Manus have not completed their treatment.
The refugees have been told to prepare to return voluntarily to Manus in the coming days or be forced back by police.
Previous removals were conducted by police in the early hours of the morning.
RNZ Pacific has been told in one instance a Somali refugee who was not wearing pants was dragged by police onto a bus.