More hospital beds are to be added to Victoria’s health services to manage COVID-19 patients with more than 7,000 Victorians to be fast-tracked for elective surgery in the next few weeks as part of the Department of Health and Human Service’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos announced that a $100 million COVID-19 response package had been designed to boost capacity in Victoria’s health system.
“More than $60 million will be made available to both public and private hospitals to undertake additional surgery such as thyroid, prostate, hernia or gynaecological surgeries,” Ms Mikakos said.
“So they can be done before the predicted peak of the pandemic places further strain on our hospital system,” she said.
“While Victorians can be assured that emergency surgeries will continue to be performed as we deal with the pandemic, it’s likely that procedures in less urgent categories will have to be postponed.”
Ms Mikakos said the elective surgery blitz would help prevent additional delays for vulnerable Victorians and free up hospital capacity for when it’s most needed.
She said a further $30 million would be used to commission the new Casey Hospital inpatient tower, adding 140 hospital beds.
Ms Mikakos said $10 million would go toward Personal Protective Equipment supplies in Victoria, including 100 million sets of gloves, 10 million face masks and 1.5 million gowns to ensure health workers had the necessary resources to do their jobs.