Wayne Jones, Chief Executive of the Northern NSW Local Health District, said today that the Tweed Hospital will not close if harsher border restrictions are enforced by the Queensland Government.
In a statement he said that the NNSWLHD, NSW Health, and the NSW Government are working tirelessly with the Queensland Government and Queensland Health to overcome unprecedented challenges.
‘We are implementing workforce contingency plans to ensure we continue to provide high-quality care at the Tweed Hospital,’ said Mr Jones.
‘The current restrictions imposed by Queensland requires the Northern NSW Local Health District to review services, including non-urgent elective surgery, to ensure we have appropriate levels of clinical staff to manage urgent and emergency presentations. All efforts are being made to minimise any impacts on service delivery.
‘The NNSWLHD is also negotiating with clinical and non-clinical staff to understand which staff, who live in Queensland but work in NSW, are able to continue to provide their services if alternate accommodation arrangements are made.’
Mr Jones said all efforts are being made to limit the impact of border closures on NNSWLHD hospitals.
He also noted that more than twenty per cent of patients attending the Tweed Hospital Emergency Department are Queensland residents, and these patients will be required to attend Queensland-based hospitals for care.
In an interview with the ABC last night, specialist doctors expressed fears that the Tweed Hospital would be forced to close due to a hard border closure.
Dr Mike Lindley-Jones, Intensive Care Specialist at Tweed Hospital (who is also the Chair of the Medical Staff Council) told the ABC that such a closure would have a detrimental effect on the healthcare of patients.
‘It would be absolutely catastrophic, the hospital wouldn’t be able to function,’ said Dr Lindley-Jones. ‘My guess is the majority of the hospital would close because large numbers of staff live north of the border. Seven operating theatres, the emergency department, the obstetrics all of those services would struggle to keep going.’
Dr Lindley Jones said he’s hopeful that discussions with the state government would result in appropriate exemptions being given to health care workers in the event of a hard border closure.
Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19
Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) has announced that a new location for getting the COVID -19 vaccination has opened today in Tweed Heads.
The Cove Restaurant's Danny Singh is now a Paul Harris Fellow. This award is named for the founder of Rotary International, 'in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.'
The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) has announced that a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic is now open at Lismore Square shopping centre.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.
A story The Echo posted this morning about the breach at Brisbane International Airport has been updated as the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, has declared the international terminal a venue of concern.
Anzac Day was a bit different this year because of COVID, but commemorations went ahead across the country.
The matter of over $15,000 owing to Ballina Shire Council by the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League for unpaid rates was discussed at council's last meeting.
Enhanced safety measures for point to point transport such as taxis, hire and rideshare vehicles are being rolled out in Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore with the opening of three free temporary vehicle sanitisation stations.