An Orange councillor has called on health authorities to provide more details on the city's preparedness for any increase in COVID-19 cases in the region.
Cr Kevin Duffy said he was concerned the Western NSW Local Health District was not providing enough information about the number of intensive care unit beds and staff available in Orange.
He said he was concerned that if ICU beds in Orange were filled up with people from outside the region an outbreak in Orange would mean local patients would have to go elsewhere.
We don't know where this is goingCr Kevin Duffy
"Are the patients going to have to be flown to Sydney?" he said.
"I'm calling on [WNSWLD chief executive] Scott McLachlan to tell us what is actually available in the region.
"Do we have the qualified staff available to handle it?" he said. "We don't know where this is going."
Cr Duffy said he was not happy with WNSWLHD's answers so far. "That's not good enough. I want people to have the confidence that we can handle it," he said.
A WNSWLHD statement said the resources were adequate.
"There is currently sufficient ICU capacity for all patients who require intensive care, with more than 500 beds available throughout the system," it said.
"As part of its comprehensive planning for its pandemic response, NSW Health has the capacity to quadruple its current ICU capacity if required. There would also be ventilators available for each of these ICU beds."
Mr McLachlan said on Monday there was a network of intensive care and acute care beds in the region.
"There's intensive care beds across Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst. They are well-equipped, well staffed and we've got some amazing staff ready to care for COVID patients if we need to."
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said patients from western NSW could be transferred to Orange Hospital.
"It's the same situation as per any other time, but with a few extra resources," he said.
"In some of those remote communities, such as Brewarrina and Wilcannia, they have committed health staff but when they're very urgent cases with a need for high level ICUs, they're generally transferred to Dubbo, to Orange or occasionally Bathurst or indeed into the city.
"[There's] the possibility of improved transference if the patient needs it. Roughly 80 per cent of patients with COVID can be managed at home, but some deteriorate quickly."
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