NSW Health is providing additional healthcare support to communities which are isolated, or at risk of flooding, as part of the state’s emergency response.
Acting Deputy Secretary Deborah Willcox said, overall, patient services in flood-affected areas have been maintained, despite some disruptions due to the floods.
“NSW Health has been working collaboratively with emergency services and other agencies to ensure residents are able to safely access public hospitals and health services,” Ms Willcox said.
“We have put arrangements in place for vulnerable patients, such as those on dialysis or receiving chemotherapy, so they can access their treatment, including transport to alternative health facilities when required.
“Contingency plans have also been put in place for pregnant women who are nearing their due date and may be isolated due to flood waters. These maternity patients are being transported by air to locations where they can access the required care.”
NSW Health is continuing to closely monitor the situation so it can respond to any communities that may require further assistance.
NSW Health staff including nurses, mental health support, pharmacists and public health staff have been deployed to evacuation centres to assist impacted communities.
“I want to acknowledge this extraordinary effort from our staff who, as always, have stepped up to put their patients and communities first,” Ms Willcox said.
NSW Health is providing social work support for patients in public hospitals, and for its staff, whose home or families are affected by the floods.
Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage and chemicals, so it is important to take steps to minimise the risk of illness:
- Wash hands thoroughly after contact with floodwater or items contaminated by floodwater.
- Wear protective clothing such as boots and gloves when you know you will be in contact with floodwater or handling contaminated items.
- Cover cuts and abrasions and ensure they don’t come into contact with floodwater or contaminated items.
- If you cut yourself on something that has been contaminated with floodwater, it is important to check with your GP about a tetanus vaccination.
For more information on keeping healthy during and after floods or storms, please visit here.
If you need emergency assistance in a flood or storm, call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.
For a medical, police or fire emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Health advice is also available 24 hours a day from healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222.
Mental health support is available on the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.