Is border causing ‘absolute turmoil’ or having ‘no impact’?
AS POLITICIANS and senior healthcare officials continue to wrangle over a solution to medical shortcomings due to the 'border bubble', another health district has denied its facing staffing and resourcing issues.
Yesterday Rural Doctors Association of NSW president Dr Charles Evill ruffled feathers when he said Tenterfield District Hospital was in "absolute turmoil", due to staff shortages caused by the Queensland border closure hampering medial workers from entering the state.
But according to Hunter New England Local Health District executive director of operations, rural and regional health ervices, Susan Heyman, patients in their region were not being impacted.
"Tenterfield Community Hospital will continue to provide the high quality health care our residents expect," she said.
"People should not hesitate to present to their nearest hospital if they require urgent medical attention."
However, Dr Evill claimed many hospitals, including Ballina and Tenterfield, were struggling due to a staffing shortage.
"They (Tenterfield) refer a lot of cases to Toowoomba, Stanthorpe and Warwick and now can't get people across there," he said.
"For example, someone with macular degeneration will be incredibly anxious they cannot get their eye injections."
Ms Heyman said providing high quality care to patients was their priority.
"We are working with our staff and other local medical practitioners to overcome challenges resulting from the Queensland border closure," she said.
"The border restrictions will not impact our transfers to Armidale and Tamworth."
Ms Heyman said the NEHD recently met with NSW Ambulance, retrieval services and other local health providers to discuss how they can continue to work together to provide appropriate health services while the border restrictions are in place.
"The Hunter New England Health Patient Flow Unit will refer patients to the nearest appropriate hospital within NSW to meet the patient's clinical needs as close as possible to home, which is usually Tamworth or Armidale hospitals," she said.
"The Queensland Government has established a specific border pass for NSW residents needing to access specialist health services in Queensland for day or overnight appointments."
Ms Heyman said residents should go to the Queensland Government website and follow the steps to access these passes.