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Andrews Labor Government must immediately ramp up elective surgeries

Labor’s 50 per cent cap on elective surgeries continues to impact tens of thousands of Victorians who have been left waiting in pain and facing ongoing uncertainty about when they will receive vital surgery.

As of 30 September this year, more than 67,000 Victorians were waiting for elective surgery; a record-high and this number is only set to grow.

The average overdue wait time for Category 2 patients has continued to increase with patients now waiting more than four months beyond the time in which they are meant to receive surgery.

It’s a similar story for overdue Category 3 patients who are now waiting, on average, more than seven months beyond the time in which they are meant to receive surgery.

With almost 90 per cent of Victorians aged over 12 being double vaccinated and fewer than 300 people in hospital with COVID-19, Labor’s ongoing rhetoric about beds being needed for COVID-19 patients just doesn’t stack up, particularly when many day surgeries and private hospitals are lying dormant and staff have been forced to take leave because of little or no work.

Ongoing suspensions and reductions in elective surgery only add more strain to a system that was already overwhelmed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Victorian patients can’t afford more delays to their necessary surgeries and it’s time the Andrews Labor Government reduce or abolish caps for elective surgery.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:

“The Andrews Government’s arbitrary 50% cap on elective surgeries just doesn’t make sense when almost 90% of eligible Victorians are vaccinated and fewer than 300 people are in hospital with COVID-19.

“I continue to be contacted by constituents who are desperate to have surgery, but because of Labor’s cap, their surgery keeps being cancelled.

“The Andrews Labor Government needs to immediately reduce or abolish caps on elective surgeries, because ongoing suspensions and reductions are only adding to the existing crisis in the health system.”

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