Australian parliament votes to take in sick refugees in historic defeat for government The Australian parliament has passed a bill giving doctors greater say over medical transfers for refugees, the first time a government has lost a vote on its own legislation in the country for almost 80 years. It means that doctors at Australia‘s processing centres on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus Island will be able to force through medical evacuations against the government’s wishes, as long as the patient meets a set of criteria. Previously, the decision of whether to allow a medical transfer to the mainland was entirely at immigration officials’ discretion. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said the bill would “take control from the government”, and “unleash a world of woe”. This is great news. Australia takes a step forward.