27 September 2023

Health cutting the way for elective surgery

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WA Health has advised that the temporary pause on some Category Two and Three bookings for elective surgery, imposed during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, is soon to be lifted.

In a statement, the Department said the decision was made following consideration of the level of COVID-19 transmission in the community and its impact on the hospital system.

“Health service providers will be able to scale-up their elective surgery bookings activity, subject to staffing and capacity within their hospitals,” the Department said.

“Patients who have had their surgery deferred will be contacted by their treating hospital once a booking slot is available.”

The scale-down on bookings for elective surgeries began on 14 March at public hospitals and 21 March at private hospitals, with the aim of safeguarding capacity in case significant staff absences arose.

During the scale-down, there was no change to Category One bookings. and those surgeries continued.

Minister for Health, Amber-Jade Sanderson said WA Health had taken an agile and planned approach to elective surgery during the pandemic.

“The temporary pause on bookings for non-urgent Category Two and Three elective surgery was necessary to ensure we had capacity in our system to respond to an expected increase in COVID-19 patients,” Ms Sanderson said.

“Fortunately, and with careful management of the pandemic in Western Australia, hospitalisations of patients with COVID-19 have been remarkably low.”

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