Elective surgery will temporarily be reduced to urgent procedures only for public and private hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne and major regional cities across Victoria from Thursday 6 January, to help hospitals respond to the increasing number of patients with coronavirus.
All emergency surgery and urgent elective surgery will continue.
As the Omicron strain continues to spread rapidly, these changes will reduce the strain on our hospitals by ensuring as many resources as possible are available across the system to manage both COVID-19 demand, as well as other patients with emergency and urgent medical needs.
Elective surgery reductions will also help to make sure our dedicated healthcare workers can focus on managing existing demand and preparing for additional coronavirus patients.
The reductions will apply to public health services in Melbourne and Barwon Health, Ballarat Health Services campus of Grampians Health, Bendigo Health, Goulburn Valley Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital.
Private hospitals and day procedure centres in Melbourne and private hospitals in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, the Latrobe Valley and Shepparton will also be required to follow the same restrictions.
Elective surgery procedures where the patient is already scheduled for admission on 6 and 7 January 2022, may still occur where it is not safe or logistically possible to postpone.
These changes will enable public and private hospitals to work as one system to make the best use of available capacity.
Those waiting for non-urgent elective surgery who are impacted by the changes are encouraged to reach out to their general practitioner should their condition in any way deteriorate, so they can be reviewed and re-prioritised to a more urgent category if required.
Surgery settings will continue to be reviewed regularly to ensure enough beds for coronavirus patients are maintained and non-urgent surgery can resume when it is safe to do so.