An injured NSW woman says she was forced to walk back across the border from Queensland after she was released from a Gold Coast hospital.
Queensland’s hardline border stance has again come under fire amid reports an injured woman was made to walk back into NSW a day after she was involved in a car crash.
Phoebe Kirk, 20, says she was dropped at a service station at the Queensland border in a taxi and forced to walk in pain for 100m to get back into NSW after being discharged from Gold Coast University Hospital on October 15.
The Daily Telegraph reported Ms Kirk had been involved in a horrific collision at Crabbs Creek on the NSW side of the border the day before but was taken to hospital in Queensland instead of NSW because of the severity of her injuries.
The young woman from Burringbar was discharged the next day but instead of being provided a patient transport for the 80km drive back home, she was merely dropped at the border in a taxi arranged by Queensland Health.
She then walked 100m to get back into NSW.
In a statement Queensland Health said it could not comment on Ms Kirk’s case due to patient confidentiality, but added that it had a responsibility to minimise the risk of the spread of Covid and to protect its staff and patients.
It said discharge plans, including modes of transport, were made in consultation with patients.
“In cross-border situations, arrangements are sometimes made that involve the patient being taken to an agreed point to be met by family members,” Queensland Health told NCA NewsWire.
“We encourage patients who have concerns about the care or service they have been provided to contact our patient liaison service so they can be specifically followed up by our team.”
The government also said injuries suffered in car accidents varied widely “and can range from minor to very serious”.
“Patients with serious trauma injuries have much longer hospital stays than 24 hours,” Queensland Health said.
The incident was first relayed on 2GB radio by Ms Kirk’s mother Joanne, with several NSW government MPs lashing their Queensland counterparts for an alleged lack of care.
“Lines on a map shouldn’t be a reason for people not getting home safely from hospital,” Deputy Premier Paul Toole told The Daily Telegraph.
Queensland has been renowned for its tough border stance throughout the pandemic and has been called out for an alleged lack of compassion when it comes to letting people get home.
Several people have pointed to the apparent ease that sportspeople, celebrities, and high-profile media have had in navigating the border exemption process all while Queenslanders camp at the border waiting for the December 17 reopening.
Restrictions eased this week that allow fully vaccinated people to fly into the state’s southeast to complete home quarantine instead of holing up in a hotel.