Public health service cancels non-urgent surgery
Non-urgent surgery over the coming months has been cancelled as the health sector gears up for the coronavirus pandemic.
Central Coast Local Health District chief executive Dr Andrew Montague said the District was in the process of doubling its intensive care capacity.
Dr Montague said a key component of these plans was ensuring that patients with the highest clinical urgency were prioritised.
The District had implemented changes to non-urgent surgery and outpatient clinics as part of its response.
This included working with clinicians to prioritise surgery cases including rescheduling some cases to enhance intensive care capacity; and conducting outpatient clinic appointments over the phone or video where possible to reduce close contact.
Dr Montague said there would be no impact to emergency and trauma patients, or on urgent surgery cases.
"Emergency, trauma and urgent surgery cases will occur with our clinicians assessing each patient's clinical need as to the urgency of care needed," he said.
"This move will free up staff working in or supporting our operating theatres to immediately undertake more specialised training so they can be redeployed to work in intensive care or other critical care areas.
Dr Montague said District staff would communicate directly with affected patients to advise them of any changes to their upcoming surgery or outpatient clinic appointment.
"As has been foreshadowed from the outset of this crisis, it is anticipated that significant adjustments will be required as we prepare our facilities for the coming weeks and months," he said.
"As part of the pandemic plans in place, we are also working with local private providers to outsource some of our non-urgent elective surgeries, helping to minimise the impact on those currently waiting for a procedure," he said.
Media release, 25 Mar 2020
Lauren Rollason, Central Coast Health