Elective surgery can and must resume in Victoria

With more than 100,000 Victorians languishing on the state’s elective surgery waitlists the risks of ongoing irreversible health outcomes for Victorians could be avoided if surgery was to recommence.

The Liberal Nationals are calling on swift action to be undertaken that will allow surgeries to take place where safe to do so.

The Andrews Labor Government has to immediately review its elective surgery freeze. There are surgeons ready to go and hospitals laying idle and theatres empty that could perform these vital and necessary procedures with COVID-19 safeguards in place.

Importantly, now that it is evident that regional Victoria is on track to re-open ahead of schedule there are regional hospitals that can undertake surgery that would assist with this growing list of Victorians who remain languishing on waitlists.

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Andrews Labor Government had fallen well behind in delivering timely elective surgery to Victorians. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the prospects of receiving vital surgery even more dire. Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos must take immediate steps to contain this rapidly developing health problem.

The continued cessation of elective surgery for category 2 and category 3 operations will only lead to a larger and more unmanageable waitlist. This will put further strain on Victoria’s health services into the future and lead to avoidable long term health problems or even premature death.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:

“It is imperative that where safe to do so elective surgeries must recommence in Victoria as a matter of priority.

“If more patients are added to the already overwhelmed waiting-list more Victorian’s will face the risk of ongoing health issues and even unnecessary premature death.

“With appropriate COVID-19 safeguards in place, it is vital that we prevent further strain on our health services and provide for the wellbeing of Victorians.”

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