Hospital staff who live in NSW and work in Victoria were told they have to self-isolate when returning home.(AAP: David Mariuz)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelA hospital in north-east Victoria was thrown into disarray yesterday with tougher border restrictions preventing Wangaratta healthcare workers from going to work.Key points:Healthcare workers who live in NSW but work in Victoria must self-isolate when returning homeA Wangaratta hospital was left without 80 staff yesterdayRegional and rural healthcare also relies on workers from Melbourne lockdown zonesEighty staff who commute from NSW did not show up at the hospital, Northeast Health Wangaratta, because they would have to self-isolate when returning home.Interim CEO of Northeast Health Wangaratta Tim Griffiths said it was a very rough day."We were already dealing with the fragility of transient workforce," he said."Now, we've got resident staff just over the border that can't work for us because of cross-border restrictions."This hasn't been thought through because this has serious implications on health services right across the border in terms of delivering health care." Northeast Health Wangaratta was left without 80 staff on Wednesday because of tougher border restrictions.(Supplied: Northeast Health Wangaratta)Mr Griffiths said the first they knew about the changes was at 4:00pm on Tuesday when the new permits were released and staff were unable to register for an exemption, like they had under previous restrictions.Frontline health workers were yesterday doing double shifts, specialist services like oncology have been impacted, and paediatric and ear nose and throat surgery cancelled."That's not sustainable, fatigue will kick kick in," Mr Griffiths said."You can only continue with a compromised workforce for a period of time before before there is implications to that."The Victorian Government told the ABC it was in urgent discussions with NSW Health "to ensure patient care is not compromised as a result and to minimise the impact on staff and service delivery".In a statement, NSW Health told the ABC:"Any exemptions to the current border restrictions are considered on a case by case basis, balancing the need to keep the community safe with individual needs."Itinerant workforceThe Victorian president of the Rural Doctors Association, Megan Belot, said it highlighted ongoing problems with staffing of regional and rural health services. Dr Megan Belot is concerned that there isn't an adequate workforce for regional healthcare.(Supplied: Megan Belot)She said the services were reliant on healthcare workers on short-term contracts and travelling from interstate or major cities."What has been highlighted definitely, with the pandemic, is that relying on interstate locums to provide your workforce isn't necessarily viable," Dr Belot said."This is something that we've always been pushing for,
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