Service delivery 'COVID-normal' at MDAS

Don't put off important health care because of border closure

Mallee District Aboriginal Services is assuring its cross-border communities that service delivery continues at ‘COVID-normal’, despite new restrictions on movement from New South Wales to Victoria.
MDAS Acting CEO Andy Charles said the organisation’s service centres in Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill and Kerang all have both clients and staff on both sides of the Victoria-NSW border.
“Our best advice is that a blanket exemption will be put in place for NSW residents in border communities, so they can apply for and get a travel permit to move across the border for essential purposes,” Mr Charles said.
“That means people can apply online for a permit to travel for school, work, or for other essential reasons.  It may take some time, though, because there will initially be a huge demand for permit applications from communities right along the river.”
MDAS Clinical Coordinator Jack McSwain said it was important for people who lived in NSW not to put off medical care because of concerns about the changes at the border.
“Obviously the Governments are still getting this finalised, and there will be a lot of applications for permits first up, so there could be some delays. But if we need to, we can provide people with a letter explaining that their travel is essential,” he said.
Mr McSwain said while the cross-border arrangements were being finalised, people should definitely not be putting off medical appointments or medical care.
“We are still here, and we are still working ‘COVID-normal’, which means things are a bit different to what they have been, but our services are still here and available,” he said.
“We have met some big challenges during this COVID crisis, and this is just another one. It’s been exciting to see how we’ve innovated, the extra efforts and extra work our teams have done to ensure people have the health care they need. 
“We’ll keep doing that, whether it’s delivering prescriptions if people can’t collect them, helping our clients get hooked up with telehealth or arranging transport – the most important thing is that people don’t forget or ignore their health needs at this time.” 
More information is available at www.service.nsw.gov.au
Pictured: Andy Charles

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MALLEE DISTRICT ABORIGINAL SERVICES  “Our Vision: Generations of vibrant, healthy and strong Aboriginal communities”

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Phone (03) 5018 4100

70 Nyah Road Swan Hill
Phone (03) 5032 8600

9 Nolan Street Kerang
Phone (03) 5412 6004

77 Perrin St Robinvale
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