Some elective surgery and procedures will recommence in the ACT this week, in line with the Federal Government’s announcement last Tuesday 21 April.
ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said ACT public hospitals will resume some of their usual elective surgery activity from Tuesday 28 April.
“The decision to reinstate elective surgery in a careful and staged approach has been made possible following the success of public health measures implemented in response to COVID-19 and continued low numbers of COVID-19 cases,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
“Across the public system, we anticipate providing more than 40 additional elective surgeries and scoping procedures next week, with those numbers growing further the following week as additional capacity is brought back online.
“We will closely monitor and review the impact of elective surgery over the next few weeks to ensure it does not compromise the Territory’s preparedness to meet demand for public hospital services.
“While we would love to conduct even more elective surgeries, we need to ensure we are doing so safely and preserving our Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) supplies. This is to ensure we can protect staff and patients should we experience an outbreak of COVID-19 in the ACT,” she said.
“We know the national decision made last month to cease most elective surgery and IVF procedures has been difficult for many Canberrans, but we are now working through our public wait lists to reschedule some patients, on the basis of clinical urgency.”
A resumption of elective surgery activity will include all Category 2 and selected Category 3 procedures, including:
· Screening programs (cancer and other diseases)
· Post cancer reconstruction procedures (such as breast reconstruction)
· Procedures for children under 18 years of age
· Joint replacements (including knees, hips, shoulders)
· Cataracts and eye procedures
· Endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures
Category 1 surgeries and procedures were not affected by the previous National Cabinet Decision.
Patients whose elective surgery has been confirmed and booked will be contacted directly by the relevant hospital.