UPDATE ON COVID-19 AND ELECTIVE SURGERIES
Due to COVID-19, all non-urgent elective surgeries were temporarily suspended to ensure adequate hospital capacity.
Originally, the only procedures that could continue unchanged were:
- Category 1 procedures: Where surgery is indicated within 30 days (also referred to as urgent). These include skin cancer surgeries, any hand repairs such as nerve repair, tendon repair or finger fractures, as well as breast implant ruptures.
- Category 2 procedures: Where surgery is indicated within 90 days (also referred to as semi-urgent). These include some non-melanoma skin cancer surgeries.
Regardless, staff were required to ask patients whether they had a fever (≥38°C) or acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).
When are elective surgeries recommencing?
Fortunately, restrictions are incrementally lifting with State governments giving hospitals in NSW and Victoria the green light to increase elective surgery from 25% of pre-pandemic levels to 50% by May 31st, then 75% by June 30th.
Australians have been very diligent in abiding by restrictions and we have therefore seen a great decline in the number of COVID-19 cases. If this continues, elective surgeries may be restored to 100% capacity by the end of July.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated, “the boom is going up on all elective surgery around the country” following the National Cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders on May 15th. “That will be welcome, particularly to the private health industry, in particular, and the jobs that are supported throughout that sector”, he said.
The level of elective surgery will be reviewed each month by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council to ensure that it remains safe and sustainable.
What does this mean for Panthea?
We are thankful to all of our patients who have been patiently waiting for the green light to go ahead with their procedure. With restrictions gradually lifting, we aim to accommodate everyone accordingly.
If the team here at Panthea had to postpone your surgery due to COVID-19, please wait for Sky, our lovely practice manager, to contact you to book in an alternative surgery date. Once again, we thank you for your patience and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.