New South Wales residents requiring specialist medical treatment in Queensland will no longer have to pay thousands of dollars to quarantine in government accommodation for 14 days under updated rules announced today.
- Queensland has eased rules for people travelling there for specialist medical treatment
- New South Wales residents can travel over the border if they have proof of an appointment
- A 14-day quarantine period is no longer required; new quarantine rules are in place
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said it was a “big win” for north coast residents, after hundreds of stories emerged of people not being able to get to their specialist appointments in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
“There’s been many cases of children with cancer and so on, but now we’ve got a way forward that they can apply for these permits and seek that treatment as required,” he said.
Wayne Jones, the head of the Northern NSW Local Health District, said the news would come as a relief to many.
“There has been a lot of confusion,” he said.
“What tends to happen when these large decisions are made about restricting access across borders, it is the finer detail that causes the confusion and problems.
How do I get to medical appointments?
To access specialist health services in Queensland, NSW residents should apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass (General).
Eligible residents should select the 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.
What is specialist care?
Specialist health care includes the following and outlines the documentation required:
- 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
What if this doesn’t apply to me?
A patient who does not meet the requirements will not be able to enter Queensland unless granted an individual exemption by the Chief Health Officer — exceptional circumstances must exist.
Exemption requests can be made here.
Will I need to quarantine?
Patients will have to quarantine as follows:
- Outpatient — in government-arranged accommodation if treatment is as an outpatient for more than one day
- Day treatment or appointment — the person must leave Queensland immediately following the treatment/appointment
- Inpatient — at the hospital if receiving treatment as an inpatient
Can I have a support person?
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 return 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 the border pass website or contact 13 42 68.