AN ARBITRARY line in the sand has cut residents on the NSW side of one border town off from medical care at Mungindi hospital.
Outraged residents and politicians have stood together against QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to effectively close the rural hospital to NSW residents, and boot staff from the state into other duties.
Mungindi local Leslie Carley said elderly residents have been turfed out and there's no access to health services for people on the NSW side of the border.
"As a person I feel terrible about it," she said.
"There's just so much confusion in town, it's like there's a wall between us and NSW residents don't have right of passage to the rest of Australia.
"For the first time ever I woke up feeling ashamed to be Australian, when I found out what they'd done to the older people here - that gets me emotional."
QLD Health maintains consideration was given to ensure the protection of the community while providing public health services at the Mungindi MPS.
"It is essential that COVID-19 is kept out of south-west communities as significant community transmission continues across NSW," a QLD Health spokesman said.
The emergency department remains open to residents on both sides of the border, as well as the vaccination clinic for already booked appointments.
Five aged care residents have been moved to Roma, St George and Collarenebri.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton have pushed for the QLD premier to urgently reverse the "heartless and draconian decision".
"It smacks of overreach, but dangerously, it is denying locals their basic right of access to medical services. It's putting the community's health and the lives of locals, at extreme risk.
"This situation is unjustified, unfair and downright dangerous," Mr Marshall said.
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