MDAS presses on with services despite border delays

MALLEE District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) has assured clients that its service delivery would continue to operate at "COVID-normal" level, despite New South Wales shutting its border to Victorian residents.

MDAS acting chief executive Andy Charles said the organisation's service centres in Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill and Kerang had clients and staff both sides of the Victorian-NSW border.

He said a blanket exemption would be in place for residents living in border towns and that permits to travel across the border for essential services, like school and work, would be available.

"It may take some time though, because there will be a huge demand for permit applications from communities right along the river," he said.

MDAS clinical co-ordinator Jack McSwain urged clients living in NSW not to put off seeking medical care despite the border closure.

He said although there would be initial delays in permit processing, it was important people did not cancel medical appointments or postpone care.

"We can provide people with a letter explaining their travel is essential," he said.

Mr McSwain said MDAS had overcome many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and would continue to provide clients with the health care they required.

"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," he said.

"The most important thing is that people don't forget or ignore their health needs at this time."

Permits can be applied for at www.service.nsw.gov.au.