A seriously ill young refugee waited more than 12 hours on Manus Island for a medical evacuation to Australia, where he later died.
- Immigration Department says it was unaware of any suspicious circumstances
- New information outlines a 12-hour wait between evacuation approval and departure
- Flight from the Port Moresby to Manus Island takes about an hour
The 27-year-old Sudanese refugee Faysal Ishak Ahmed died in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital on Christmas Eve after collapsing on Manus Island two days before.
At the time, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said in a statement it was unaware of any suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
New information from the department outlined a 12-hour wait between officials approving the evacuation and the aircraft departing for Manus Island.
The flight from the PNG capital Port Moresby to Manus Island takes about an hour.
It is unclear what caused the lengthy wait.
Further comment has been sought from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and his department.
The 12-hour delay was detailed after questions in Senate estimates from Labor senator Louise Pratt.
The new details coincide with the release of a report from a Senate inquiry into alleged abuse of asylum seekers in processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
In her report, committee chair Senator Pratt recommended an external review of the "complex and confusing" medical transfer procedures in offshore processing centres.
She added that it should be undertaken "as a matter of urgency".
Senator Pratt went on to cite reports that Mr Ahmed had been ill prior to the fall two days before his death and had sought help "every few days".
She further outlined findings from Comcare inspectors, who found that as of late 2014, the approval process for evacuations was "convoluted" and could "unnecessarily delay an evacuation".
Department's timeline of events:
- Medical evacuation recommended about 1:00am on December 23
- Request approved about 2:30am
- Air ambulance departs from Port Moresby about 2:00pm
- Flight arrives on Manus Island about 3:15pm
- Aircraft takes off for Brisbane via Port Moresby about 6:00pm
- Flight arrives in Brisbane after 11:30pm
- Faysal Ishak Ahmed transferred to Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital about 12:15am on December 24
But in their dissenting report, Government senators on the committee did not back the recommendation.
They stated that a "robust process is in place for the timely medical transfer of transferees and refugees".
"This inquiry has been a politically motivated public relations stunt on the part of the Labor Party and the Greens," it read.
"Their reckless actions also put into jeopardy Australia's strong relationships with Papua New Guinea and Nauru."
Mr Dutton confirmed last year the centre would be closed following a ruling by PNG's Supreme Court that Australia's detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was illegal.
Australia and the United States reached an agreement in November for a one-off refugee resettlement deal for people held in detention by Australia on Manus Island and Nauru.
Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security have been on Manus Island fingerprinting and photographing refugees and are expected to return next month to conduct security interviews.
The ABC understands that roughly 600 men on Manus Island may be eligible for resettlement, with about half having had first interviews in December and January.