All patients from the Southern NSW Local Health District can now enter the ACT for scheduled medical treatment without applying for an exemption.
ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman signed the standing exemption health order this week after multiple discussions between ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain about the requirement for Eden-Monaro residents to travel to the ACT to access essential health care and specialist appointments.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the standing exemption would remain in place until the end of the declared COVID-19 public health emergency.
“With the ACT in lockdown, we remind people coming from NSW for medical treatment to follow the public health advice on our COVID-19 website when in the ACT,” Chief Minister Barr said.
“It is also important that people follow the instructions that they are being given by the staff at our health facilities.”
Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain said she was pleased to come to this arrangement with ACT Health as it would make a huge difference for a lot people in her electorate.
“Prior to this standing exemption, I was approached by countless people from Braidwood, to Cooma and down on the coast who were all worried about missing essential medical treatment because they’re application for an exemption hadn’t been approved,” Ms McBain said.
“With the Victorian border closed and Sydney at the epicentre of the current pandemic, people in my electorate have been reliant on Canberra health services for specialist appointments and life-saving treatment.
“Southern NSW residents want to do the right thing and people are following stay at home orders, but this can’t come at the expense of their critical healthcare.
“This standing exemption means people don’t need to stress about missing surgeries, ongoing cancer treatment or regular specialist check-ups while waiting for an exemption to be approved.”
Further details about ACT standing exemptions can be found here.