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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Ray of hope for medical care across border

Latest News

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We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Suffolk Park Pump Track

We the ‘Engaged Neighbours’, on behalf of the Suffolk Park pump track’s affected neighbours and 300–400 petitioners and letter writers, request Council NOT to continue to bulldoze the large fenced in section of Linda Vidler Parkland adjacent to Baz and Shaz’s shop, close to the houses on three sides.

UPDATE 2.30pm 14 August, via Wayne Jones, Northern NSW Local Health District:

Queensland Health have provided updated guidance for Northern NSW Local Health District residents outside the border zone who need to access specialist medical care in Queensland.

Patients can continue to enter Queensland from outside the border zone, or travel to health providers in Queensland outside the border zone.

To access specialist health services in Queensland, residents must apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass (General) from here.

Eligible residents should then select this option: ‘Entering Queensland to obtain specialist health care that cannot be obtained at your place of residence, or as a support person to a person obtaining such care and can provide evidence of the time and place of the specialist appointment.’

When crossing the border by road into Queensland, residents will need to present their border declaration, as well as documentation confirming their medical appointment or treatment.

Specialist health care includes the following:

  • Queensland Children’s Hospital appointment confirmed in writing by the hospital.
  • Specialist outpatient appointment at a Queensland Hospital and Health Service, confirmed in writing by the service.
  • Specialist appointment at a licensed Queensland private health facility, confirmed in writing by the service.
  • Specialist appointment, confirmed in writing by the service along with a written referral from a GP.
  • Other appointments at a Queensland Hospital and Health Service accompanied by a form signed by the Chief Executive that the patient requires specialist health care in Queensland.

A patient who does not meet these requirements will not be able to enter Queensland unless granted an individual exemption by the Chief Health Officer (CHO). Exceptional circumstances must exist. Exemption requests can be made here.

Patients will have to quarantine as follows:

  • For an outpatient: in government arranged accommodation if treatment is as an outpatient for more than one day.
  • For a day treatment or appointment, the person must leave Queensland immediately following the treatment/appointment.
  • For an inpatient: at the hospital if receiving treatment as an inpatient. A support person accompanying someone receiving essential medical care will need to stay in government arranged accommodation, at their own expense. Alternatively, they can drop the person at the medical facility and drive straight back without stopping in Queensland and then come back to pick them up.
  • Children receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital, and their family, can quarantine with the child at the hospital.

For more information about border declarations, please visit https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass or contact 13 42 68.

ORIGINAL STORY 12.15pm 14 August:

After an outcry from Northern NSW, the Queensland Government has decided to water down extreme quarantine restrictions that saw patients on both sides of the border being denied lifesaving care.

Queensland border check. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Northern NSW patients requiring specialist treatment in Queensland but living outside Queensland’s ‘border zone’ will now be able to apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass.

Patients can enter Queensland from outside the border zone, or travel to health providers in Queensland located outside the border zone with special quarantine requirements now set in place.

Residents should apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass (General) at www.qld.gov.au/border-pass and select the option ‘Entering Queensland to obtain specialist health care’.

Patients will also need to provide proof of the appointment or procedure in writing when crossing the border and must return to NSW directly and immediately once this is complete.

More information is available on the website or by calling 13 42 68.

Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest said, ‘It is a welcome step forward in what has become a cross-border nightmare for critically ill people who need specialist treatment.’


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Northern Rivers COVID restrictions lifting at midnight

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Face masks for Ballina and Byron businesses

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UPDATE: Thousands of COVID tests conducted across northern rivers

The Byron Shire community and visitors have come forward in large numbers for testing following the alert of two COVID positive visitors coming to Byron Bay last weekend.

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Two new COVID testing clinics for Byron

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COVID: infectious sisters visit Byron Bay

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1 COMMENT

  1. Great that the border is easier to get across for medical treatment.
    Not great that the hospitals aren’t allowing us in for our long awaited treatment. I have been waiting to have a full thickness skin graft on my face for skin cancer, that is fast growing near my eye. What is the use of a pass to go to hospital that I can’t get in? Hospitals now need to comply too!

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