Twelve former Australians of the Year have written an open letter pleading with the Prime Minister to allow medical professionals access to asylum seekers inside the recently closed Manus Island detention centre.

“It’s really likely that deaths will occur in the coming days and weeks so something needs to be done,” mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry said.

“There’s a great concern about the safety of these men from both a medical and a psychiatric point of view. …

The Australian Medical Association voted unanimously on the weekend to call on the Government to let their doctors onto Manus to assist the men left inside, but so far access has not been granted.

“We, as former Australians of the Year, representing the hearts and minds of the nation, are deeply concerned about the health and human disaster that is unfolding on Manus Island,” the open letter read.

“In the coming days, it is inevitable that people will become sick and even die through the lack of basic sanitation, food, water and medical care.”

Read the full article and the open letter

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