The government has lost a boat almost as soon as it was defeated on proposed laws making it easier for asylum seekers to get medical treatment.

“Thanks to Labor, we’ve now lost a boat,” Scott Morrison told reporters.

“A boat immediately slipped through turn-back patrols and is now heading towards Australia.”

The government says asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru will now apply to come to Australia on medical grounds “although they are living fulfilled lives on the islands”.

The government is expected to order the Navy and border force officials to let at least 3 boats through to Australia before the general election.

Image: ABC