What is the Medical Evacuation Response Group?
The Medical Evacuation Response Group (MERG), also known as the ‘Medevac group’, is a partnership of organisations working to ensure the safe, orderly and effective implementation of applications for medical transfer under Australia’s so-called ‘Medevac Bill’.
Put simply, the group aims to support the current Medevac process, through which refugees and asylum seekers held on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea (PNG) under Australian ‘offshore processing’ policy can be transferred to Australia for medical treatment.
The staff supporting the work of the group include caseworkers, counsellors and lawyers, plus some administrative personnel. The MERG is independent of the Australian, Nauruan and PNG governments.
Working alongside the MERG, but independently, are doctors who perform individual assessments of sick refugees and asylum seekers to determine whether they should be transferred.