Immigration Minister Tony Burke will visit Manus Island this week to address horrific allegations raised by a former security guard at the Papua New Guinea detention centre.

Former head of occupational health and safety at the centre, Rod St George, claims acts of self-harm and attempted suicide were occurring "almost daily" on Manus Island.

He told SBS's Dateline program asylum seekers were being raped and tortured in the detention centre.

Mr St George expanded on his allegations on Wednesday morning, saying the problems were exacerbated by poor training of guards and the inability to separate people.

"The policy from department quite clearly is that Manus is not to be a comfortable place," he told ABC radio.

"Any suggestion by those of us who were speaking up for them (vulnerable detainees), we were just told no one leaves the island."

Mr Burke said the allegations were horrific.

He spoke in detail to Mr St George after the program aired on Tuesday night, about conditions in the detention centre and what could be done to fix the problems.

"I'll be in Manus in the next couple of days and I'll have a look for myself," he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

"I don't think anyone in the immigration department would have any doubt particularly after this next visit, of what my expectations are."

The minister said all the asylum seekers currently on Manus Island would be removed before any new groups were settled there under the government's new policy.

His office has been asked to clarify where those currently on the island will be sent.