A gradual return of elective surgery from today (7 February) means South Australians on waiting lists will now be able to schedule their procedures.
Announced by Premier, Steven Marshall, the ban on elective surgery is to be lifted over the next four weeks and monitored regularly.
Mr Marshall said the Week 1 (7 February) schedule included resumption of day surgery in the private sector and reinstatement of surgery in Country Local Health Networks (LHNs) subject to local outbreak status; Week 2 (14 February) included day surgery and up to 75 per cent of total surgery in the private sector, and day surgery in public sector Metro LHNs; Week 3 (21 February) included full resumption of all elective surgery in the private sector and day surgery and all category 2 surgery in the public sector; and Week 4 (28 February) recovery of all elective surgery in the public sector.
“We know that for many people, elective surgery is not particularly elective, with many South Australians needing their procedure sooner rather than later,” Mr Marshall said.
“Thanks to lowering case numbers and less frontline health workers furloughed, elective surgery will be eased back into our health system in a staged way.”
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael Cusack said a decrease in the number of daily COVID cases would begin to ease the pressure on the health system.
“Following announcement of the re-introduction of all paediatric surgeries last Friday (28 January), we are focused on the staged return of elective surgery in public and private hospitals,” Dr Cusack said.
“We will closely monitor the rates of COVID transmission in the community while working with the Local Health Networks and private sector to ensure we manage a safe approach to surgical activity levels,” he said.