Australia Non-urgent elective surgeries have been cancelled for now because of coronavirus. Here's what that means

05:51  26 march  2020
05:51  26 march  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

NT doctors call for cancellation of non-essential surgeries

  NT doctors call for cancellation of non-essential surgeries Six of the Northern Territory's “most senior” doctors are calling for the immediate cancellation of elective surgery at Top End hospitals as they prepare their “finite” resources to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Sky News obtained a copy of the letter the doctors sent to the chief health officer which said “the NT is doubly vulnerable and its critical care resources more finite than any other Australian jurisdiction”.The group listed 13 immediate actions it wants to see take place including the suspension of all non-urgent elective surgery, dental, community outreach and most outpatients.

All elective surgery other than the most urgent procedures will be put on hold to free up capacity in hospitals dealing with coronavirus . “This has already largely been implemented for category one and category two and what this means is a further scaling back of those elective surgeries in

Questions about coronavirus or COVID-19? Click here . For example, if you have been advised to have periodic scans after cancer remission, if your doctor sees you regularly to monitor It' s likely that your elective surgery or procedure will be canceled or rescheduled by the hospital or medical center in That means following your doctor' s recommendations including taking medications as directed.

Hospital. © Getty Hospital. Starting today, non-urgent elective surgeries in Australia's public hospitals will be suspended.

It's to help preserve resources, including protective equipment, and help the health system prepare for the influx of patients expected in the coming weeks and months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Will surgeries in private hospitals still go ahead?

No. The new rules apply to both the public and private health systems.

Surgery. © Getty Surgery. They were agreed on by the National Cabinet and apply in every state.

But a late-night amendment to the suspension, announced on Wednesday, will give private hospitals a few extra days before the changes come into place.

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NHS England is suspending all non - urgent elective surgery to free up beds for coronavirus patients, chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said. Trusts who want to start suspending non- elective surgery - operations not considered a medical emergency - earlier will be allowed to do so.

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Semi-urgent category two and three elective surgeries at private hospitals can continue until 11.59 pm on April 1.

When will non-urgent elective surgeries resume?

There's no clear answer.

The Prime Minister said the suspension was "temporary" and would continue "until further notice".

The Victorian Government said the surgeries would resume only when it was safe to do so, and would consider surge capacity to reduce waiting lists, which would inevitably blow out.

But the timing all depends on how overwhelmed our hospital system gets and for how long.

And on how successful our personal distancing measures are.

Which surgeries will be suspended?

All category three surgeries and most category two surgeries will be temporarily suspended.

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Non - urgent elective surgeries in Canberra are being suspended as the number of cases of coronavirus continues "We still have no evidence of community transmission, but it does not mean we can rest on our Canberra Health Services will also be reducing non - urgent and non-essential

Surgery. © Getty Surgery. According to the National Elective Surgery Urgency Categorisation Guideline published by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council, surgeries usually deemed category three include:

  • Total hip replacement
  • Total knee replacement
  • Shoulder reconstruction
  • Removing tonsils
  • Removing haemorrhoids
  • Laparoscopy for endometriosis
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Breast reduction
  • Varicose veins treatment
  • Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Which surgeries will continue?

Only emergency surgeries, category one and some exceptional category two surgeries will continue for now.

Surgeries usually deemed category one include:

  • Breast lump removal and biopsy
  • Mastectomy
  • Removing malignant skin lesions
  • Craniotomy for ruptured aneurysm
  • Neonatal surgery
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Removing urinary tract stones
  • Amputation of a limb

Many more surgeries fall into category two, and will continue in urgent circumstances where a delay would cause a risk to the patient.

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Elective surgery or elective procedure (from the Latin: eligere, meaning to choose) is surgery that is scheduled in advance because it does not involve a medical emergency.

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How will it help?

Suspending elective surgeries will free up beds and health workers to better respond to COVID-19 patients.

But another huge benefit is it will save scarce personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves and goggles.

Doctors have been appealing for more government action to boost supplies of personal protective equipment.

The Federal Government has promised an extra 30 million medical masks in Australia within two weeks, but the director of a company that supplies more than 500 Australian hospitals has warned that "most hospitals" are only days away from running out.

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