Members of the panel are planning to visit regional processing centres in PNG and Nauru for a close-up look at facilities, the report said.

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Asylum Seeker Resource Centre chief executive Kon Karapanagiotidis said the low number of approvals was not an indication that offshore asylum seekers were not sick, as the panel was only asked to consider those cases the minister rejected.

Mr Karapanagiotidis told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the minister approved applications for medical transfer “in 85 per cent of cases”.

The ASRC is crowdfunding to raise money to continue assisting asylum seekers with their applications, asking for donations of up to $90 to support volunteer doctors and lawyers’ work.

“To date, more than 130 sick people have been transferred to Australia, but the situation for those left behind is desperate and inhumane,” the ASRC said on its campaign website.

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“Many people have been detained for more than six years despite serious mental health deterioration and critical health concerns such as organ failure, blindness, cancer and preventable illnesses.

A Senate inquiry is examining a Morrison government bill to repeal the medical transfer laws – pushed through Parliament in February by Labor, the Greens and four independents – that make it easier for asylum seekers and refugees to be transferred to Australia for treatment.

Doctors helping asylum seekers with their applications said in a submission to the inquiry that at least three quarters had a serious physical health condition.

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