Patients from NSW who attend medical appointments in Victoria outside of their border zone can now do so without being required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
The NSW Government has created a new permit category called: “Person who is a New South Wales resident returning from entering Victoria for medical or hospital services except in emergency situation”.
Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said the change was welcomed and would come as a relief to many patients.
“GV Health’s priority has and always will be to enable patients and clients to continue to access services as close to home as possible,” he said.
“Particularly for people that have illnesses that require regular treatment such as dialysis or cancer care.”
Mr Sharp said hospital staff knew of some GV Health patients who were considering alternative treatment in NSW before the introduction of the new permit.
However, he said the hospital was not aware of anyone who had transferred their care on an "ongoing basis" at this time.
“But I understand there remains some inconvenience for patients and clients, such as the frequency that the permits need to be applied for through the NSW Government,” Mr Sharp said.
To be eligible for this permit, the following conditions apply:
● A medical practitioner has certified that the medical or hospital services are necessary to treat or maintain the person’s health.
● The service is not available locally and cannot be accessed remotely.
● The person must travel by the most practicable direct route to the place where the medical or hospital services are provided and from the place where the medical or hospital services are provided to the person’s place of residence.
● The person must self-isolate if they have, within the previous 14 days, been in a restricted area.
Under former Victoria-NSW border restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NSW patients were unable to travel to appointments at Victorian hospitals without being required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return home.
There has also been changes to the permit system for NSW residents travelling to Victoria on compassionate grounds such as visiting a terminally ill relative.
Seasonal workers on visas can now also cross the border after changes were made to include them in the border zone resident permit.
However, a number of politicians, including NSW Member for Murray Helen Dalton, continue to push the government to make changes to the permit system to include more towns in the border zone and make a permit for people who live outside the border zone but work across the border.
● For more information visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions