Ensure the mental and physical welfare of asylum seekers in detention

Reinstatement of the Immigration Health Advisory Group

The APS calls for the reinstatement of the Immigration Health Advisory Group (IHAG) that was abolished in 2013. IHAG was established in 2006 after recommendations made in the Palmer and Comrie Inquiries. The Advisory Group was made up of members of the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian Medical Association, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioner and the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and was instrumental in the formation of a healthcare model for asylum seekers. This model has been diminished significantly since the demise of the Advisory Group.

The negative impact of long term detention on people’s health and mental health is well documented.   Considering recent events, the absence of independent oversight of the delivery of appropriate health and mental support is a major gap that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

The APS seeks the support of all political parties to reinstate the Immigration Health Advisory Group, and thus ensure the continued provision of independent advice on the mental and physical welfare of asylum seekers in detention.


For further details of this proposal, please contact the Australian Psychological Society

Professor Lyn Littlefield OAM, Executive Director l.littlefield@psychology.org.au

Mr Harry Lovelock, Senior Executive Manager, Strategic Development and Public Interest

APS Submissions

Position Statement and Literature Review

Media Releases


Where do the parties stand?

The APS has asked for a response from the major political parties regarding the key issues. Party responses will be posted below, as we receive them:


Freezing of Medicare rebates

The APS supports the GP campaign against the continued freezing of indexation of Medicare rebates.

Emeritus Professor Gina Geffen AM FAPS