Less than three months after non-urgent elective surgery was suspended to enable our health system to prepare for the impact of COVID-19, activity is back to 100 per cent of the historical average.
Approximately 3,550 Western Australians will undergo an elective surgery or procedure this week.
Non-urgent Category 2 and all Category 3 procedures were suspended from March 23, 2020 to preserve stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ensure beds were available for patients with COVID-19.
Activity has progressively ramped back up from April 28, 2020 and today marks the return to full capacity.
This milestone is a significant achievement in WA’s return to the new normal from COVID-19 and a testament to the great work of WA Health and health service providers in responding to the pandemic, and securing supplies of critical PPE.
The Health Minister has asked the Department of Health to develop and co-ordinate a plan to address the backlog of cases.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“I thank everyone who has been affected by these elective surgery delays for their patience and wish to reassure them that I understand how burdensome waiting for surgery is, which is why developing a plan to address the backlog is one of my highest priorities.
“It is wonderful that within the short space of three months, we have responded so well to the Coronavirus pandemic that our hospitals can now safely resume full elective surgery activity, with a focus on patients who have waited longer than is clinically recommended.
“The McGowan Government is committed to taking action to get those patients awaiting elective surgery treated as soon as possible.”