Managing elective surgery during COVID-19 surge

To ease pressure on our public health system and maximise the number of beds available during the current COVID-19 wave, SA Health is taking additional steps to manage elective surgery and help deal with the high demand on the public health system.

The intention is to maintain as many elective surgery admissions as possible, while recognising that the system is under significant strain because of COVID-19 cases and respiratory illnesses.

Day surgery and day procedures, dental and screening procedures, day and all paediatric surgery, procedures linked to IVF and all surgery in regional Local Health Networks will continue.

Non-urgent elective surgery that requires an overnight bed will only go ahead if the hospital has capacity and available beds. This means bookings for these procedures will pause and there will be some postponements.

You will be notified if your elective procedure is affected. SA Health is working with the private hospital sector and peri-urban public hospitals to offer overdue patients the opportunity to have their procedures as soon as possible and will contact patients if this is a possibility.

These temporary measures will allow SA Health to reduce activity in the short term to create internal capacity in our public hospitals to deal with the likely increase in hospitalisations for COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses expected in the coming weeks.

SA Health acknowledges the disruption these measures cause. These additional steps are not taken lightly and will help manage the high demand currently on the public health system.