'INHUMANE': Lismore doctor's fury over border bubble tragedy
LISMORE paediatrician Dr Chris Ingall says he is appalled by tragedies caused by "inhumane politics".
His comments come after a Ballina woman lost one of her unborn twins because she felt forced to travel to Sydney for emergency medical care instead of seeking an exemption to cross the border.
She waited 16 hours to get on a flight to Sydney after trying to get access to Brisbane, but then determining an application for a border exemption would have taken too long.
Dr Ingall said the Northern NSW Local Health District should be included in the border bubble to prevent future tragedies.
"People are having to make desperate choices because of the politics driving the border bubble," Dr Ingall said.
"If it were up to me, I believe the border bubble should be extended to include the parameters of our local health district so our health care workers and our patients can access the hospitals where they have built relationships with their health care workers and doctors."
Dr Ingall said the case of Bangalow youngster Arlo Ozols also highlights what he called "unfair and inhumane" separation of parents and children.
"Arlo's mother has to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks quarantine, when she should be with her child who needs her," he said.
"It is wrong that parents are forced to choose being separated from their child and family to cross the border or have to travel seven to nine hours south for treatment, because of an unnecessary border closure."
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said while his heart went out to the mother involved in the tragic incident, it was too early to make a judgement on where the border system had failed until the investigation was over.
"I have spoken with our health minister Brad Hazzard who has been in contact with the Queensland health minister Stephen Miles who confirmed an investigation is taking place into the circumstances surrounding this," Mr Provest said.
"We have managed to get a large number of medical passes and exemptions for people.
"I think it is too early to make a judgement on where the system failed until we have a set of definitive facts."
Tweed shire councillor James Owen, who has been a vocal border issues advocate, said he agreed with the Prime Minister, some hard conversations needed to be had.
"I do think we need to reconsider these restrictions and the human factor associated with them when it comes to medical issues," he said.
"My heart goes out to the family and my thoughts are with them.
"I urge Premier Palaszczuk to consider putting measures in place to make sure this doesn't happen again."