Stock photo of surgeons performing eye surgery as the patient is under general anaesthetic.
Stock photo of surgeons performing eye surgery as the patient is under general anaesthetic.

Northern NSW hospitals boost elective surgery capacity

WHILE elective surgery may not be a matter of life and death, it can be life changing and is almost always life enhancing.

Unfortunately those waiting on elective surgery have been forced to wait longer due to the global pandemic, which is not only frustrating but physically limiting or painful for some.

At present, the Northern NSW hospitals are operating at 35 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 capacity in terms of elective surgery.

The Northern NSW Local Health District is looking to restore some normality to its elective surgery procedures in local hospitals.

On Thursday, Health District chief executive Wayne Jones revealed they hope to be running at 75 per cent by the end of June.

“The gradual resumption of elective surgery will be coupled with an ongoing review and assessment of supplies and usage of PPE that keep both staff and patients safe, as well as continuing to significantly expand the state’s ICU capacity,” Mr Jones said.

“As always, patients will be assessed and prioritised by their clinicians, as well as being risk assessed for admission during this period.

“Our staff will contact patients to reschedule surgery as appropriate.”

Mr Jones acknowledged the impact of stalling elective surgery on the community.

“I want to thank our clinicians and non-clinical staff for their resilience over these past few months as we’ve made swift and important changes to our hospital operations to help us respond well to the pandemic,” Mr Jones said.

“Thank you also to our community for their understanding during this period, and as we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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