REJECTED: Qld turns away burns patient and pregnant women
THERE are no coronavirus cases currently in hospital care on the Northern Rivers, but residents requiring medical treatment are still being declined by Queensland Health and must instead go to Sydney.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive, Wayne Jones, confirmed locals who required urgent but not life-threatening care had been taken south.
"Patients who would normally be transferred for non-urgent procedures and care in Queensland when we don't provide that service here will need to go elsewhere," he said.
"We already have examples where we had to transfer people to Royal North Shore Hospital (Sydney).
"We had a burns patient who was not an emergency, their airway was quite stable, but they required treatment in a specialist burns unit.
"We would normally sent them to Queensland ‒ that was declined, and we were very fortunate to obtain a bed at Royal North Shore hospital, but that is a significantly longer way for the family to travel."
Mr Jones said there were a couple of other similar examples recently.
"We had some maternity cases, not emergency, but who required further care that would normally go to the Gold Coast or to Brisbane, that have been declined, and those women have been transferred either to Newcastle or Sydney for ongoing care," he said.
Mr Jones also confirmed it took the Queensland Government a week to publish online details on medical access for NSW residents, after it was agreed on by authorities.
"Last Thursday, we negotiated access for residents in the non-border zone of NSW to access specialist services in Queensland," he said.
"Where the confusion reigned for the rest of the week was that, that information was not up on the website for Queensland Health, and that declaration change had not been made."
Due to this, NSW residents kept being rejected at the border for a week after the change was announced.
That information was updated at 1am this Thursday.
Mr Jones said the Northern NSW area had no people in hospital for COVID at the moment, with a total number of cases identified here at 58.
"Fifty-three of those have recovered," he said.
"We had two recently who were in hospital and have now been discharged, and cared for in our Hospital at Home program.
"That means that they are well enough to be at home and we just offer then home support visits."