COVID-19

Gradual return of Elective Surgery for South Australians

South Australians waiting for their elective surgery will soon be able to schedule their important procedures with a gradual return of elective surgery.

South Australians waiting for their elective surgery will soon be able to schedule their important procedures with a gradual return of elective surgery from Monday next week.

Thanks to lowering case numbers, less frontline health workers furloughed and South Australia’s strong and decisive handling of the global Omicron outbreak – elective surgery will be eased back into our health system in a staged way.

The current ban will be lifted over the next four weeks and monitored regularly, noting the paediatric elective surgery ban was lifted last week.

Week 1 (7 February 2022)

  • Day surgery in the private sector resumes
  • Reinstatement of surgery in Country LHN’s (subject to local outbreak status)

Week 2 (14 February 2022)

  • Day Surgery + up to 75% of total surgery in private sector
  • Day surged in public sector Metro LHN’s

Week 3 (21 February 2022)

  • Full resumption of all elective surgery in the private sector resumes
  • Day surgery and all category 2 surgery in the public sector resumes

Week 4 (28 February 2022)

  • Commence recovery of all elective surgery in the public sector.

Premier Steven Marshall said he was pleased many South Australians would now be able to schedule their important procedures.

“We know that for many people, elective surgery is not particularly elective, with many South Australians needing their procedure sooner rather than later,” Premier Marshall said.

“While we were one of the first states to impose the elective surgery ban, we are one of the first to remove it – and that’s thanks to South Australia’s strong and decisive handling of the global Omicron outbreak.

“The ban was necessary to put in place last year to help us fight the global omicron outbreak, ensure our health system was prepared and vaccinate as many South Australians as possible.

“Now, thanks to every South Australian working together, we can safely remove that ban in a staged and responsible way.

“I thank both our private and public elective surgery doctors, nurses and health staff who have all been deployed to our Covid response over the last 6 weeks – without you, South Australia wouldn’t have been able to flatten the curve and get over the peak,” Premier Marshall said.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael Cusack, said he was pleased to see the number of daily cases starting to decrease, which in turn will begin to ease the pressure on the health system.

“Following announcement of the re-introduction of all paediatric surgeries last Friday, we are focused on the staged return of elective surgery in public and private hospitals.

“During this pause in elective surgery, our priority has been not only to care for COVID-19 positive patients in hospital, but also to boost vaccination rates in the community and staff from the private sector have played an important role in helping us to do this.

“I really want to thank those South Australians who have had their surgery postponed for their patience and understanding during this difficult time.

“We will closely monitor the rates of COVID transmission in the community while working with the Local Health Networks and private sector to ensure we manage a safe approach to surgical activity levels and remain COVID-ready if the situation changes in the future.”

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