Special arrangements for expectant mums on the NSW-Vic border

ANXIETY: Albury mum-to-be Susan Radoicic is concerned the border closure will have an impact on her maternity care in Wodonga. Picture: MARK JESSER
ANXIETY: Albury mum-to-be Susan Radoicic is concerned the border closure will have an impact on her maternity care in Wodonga. Picture: MARK JESSER

Border health care providers were forced to issue thousands of letters to patients to ensure they will be allowed to access care now the border has closed.

Permits were still not available through the Service NSW website at 4pm on Tuesday and the unknown was causing stress among the Albury-Wodonga region.

None-more-so than expectant mothers like Susan Radoicic.

Living in Albury and having to travel across the state border to Wodonga to access maternity care is an added anxiety for Ms Radoicic who is 36 weeks pregnant.

"I have just four weeks to go and because it is my first baby there is just that added stress of not knowing if you will be allowed back in the state," she told The Border Mail.

"The midwives have just told us to allow extra time when coming to the hospital and to leave early when I start having contractions.

"But my concern is if I go into labour and it is peak hour traffic how long am I going to have to wait to get over to Victoria."

Albury Wodonga Health confirmed all maternity care will continue under the COVID-19 restrictions.

While the Victorian government said there won't be checkpoints when entering the state, the Albury-Wodonga community went into panic trying to figure out work and health care arrangements.

The health service reassured patients they will be let through the checkpoint with the letter which were being issued to thousands of patients on Monday.

Chief executive Michael Kalimnios said the cross border health service has assurance from the NSW Police, who are manning the border control, patients will be allowed through if they have a letter from the health service and their licence on them.

"Patients who have appointments scheduled with Albury Wodonga Health are being issued with authorised letters from the health service to assist with travel between the two cities," he said.

"This documentation can be used, along with any other supporting material to enable passage across the NSW and Victorian borders, until the travel exemption permit system is up and running via Services NSW."

Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre radiotherapy provider GenesisCare were also issuing patients with letters.

Centre leader Paula Fraser said they remain committed to ensuring all local cancer patients are able to continue to access vital care.

"All of our patients and staff members have been issued with essential travel letters which will allow them to freely travel across the NSW Victoria border to access treatment and to deliver care to patients," she said.

"We acknowledge that many of our patients are feeling anxious about how the border closures will impact their treatment."

This story Special border arrangements for expectant mums first appeared on The Border Mail.