On Friday, May 15 the National Cabinet has agreed that ALL Elective surgery can resume as usual. This comes with the caveat that each state will have the ultimate decision about the pace surgeries can proceed. We’re pretty excited to announce that elective surgery gets green light Australia-wide. We’ve been inundated with patients wanting to know when!
Australia’s Success in Managing Covid-19 the Key Factor
It was a relatively easy decision for the cabinet to make, given the excellent status Australia enjoys in their response to the Covid-19 threat. Dr Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer stated @ Friday May 15 there were only 50 coronavirus patients currently in hospital.
Of the 50 patients in hospital being treated for COVID-19, there were only 12 on ventilators. This coupled with Australia’s hospitals are currently sitting at around 50-60 per cent capacity.
We saw some elective surgeries commence a few weeks ago. The cabinet believes there is room for further expansion. This would apply especially for those states that have seen very low, to no recent cases of COVID-19.
The States to Have Final Say in the Pace of Elective Surgery resumption
States such as Victoria and NSW that are still experiencing some transmissions may possibly take the resumption of elective surgery a bit more gently. But the bottom line from the national cabinet is Australia is now heading towards full elective surgery. This is obviously a great outcome for both practitioners and patients.
Elective Surgery Resumption – How it will work in practice?
According to Hunter Plastic Surgery, the lifting of restrictions will allow 50%, 75% and 100% of normal operating to resume over time. This is the strategy outlined by the Prime Minister. “We now await the state government’s announcement of exactly how this will work in NSW (hopefully early next week)”, explains Amber Moncrieff, Practice Director.
“This means from Monday, 18 May, we will be back in the clinic full-time and providing most of our services as normal, with a few tweaks!”
“We will, of course, continue with measures to limit risk. This will include asking all visitors to use hand sanitiser upon entry, regular disinfecting of surfaces, spacing of our reception area and use of masks as appropriate,” added Amber Moncrieff.
Increase in Mental Health Funding
As well as elective surgery the other major announcement from the federal cabinet was $48.1 million in funding for the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan. The services this plan aims to support are those available in homes, aged care, workplaces, community sites and schools ‘with a specific focus on vulnerable groups’ as explained on the government’s CV essential Info website. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stresses that Australians do not neglect their general health issues. “If you need to go and see your specialist, you need to go and see your GP, please do so. And if you need to get help with mental health conditions, please, please do so.” You can read the full the Media Statement here.