Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Medical Research; State Development, Jobs and Trade; Science

    Elective surgery to be scaled back to prepare for COVID-19

    21/03/2020 3:25 PM
    • No further bookings will be made for Category 2 and 3 elective surgeries, procedures and dental services at WA hospitals as of March 23
    • As of March 24, booked Category 3 patients will be cancelled while Category 2 patients will be reviewed by hospitals and treating clinicians, and if deemed urgent will proceed
    • Face masks, personal protective equipment in short supply and needs to be conserved   

    No further bookings for Category 2 and Category 3 elective surgery, procedures and routine community dental services will be made at Western Australian public hospitals as of Monday, March 23, 2020.


    Hospitals will continue with Category 1 surgery - defined as urgent with the potential to become an emergency.


    Booked Category 3 patients will be cancelled, while booked Category 2 patients will be reviewed by hospitals and treating clinicians and if deemed urgent can proceed.


    This decision has been endorsed by Western Australia's Chief Health Officer.


    Reducing elective surgery will help to preserve face masks and other vital personal protective equipment, this is essential to protect health staff from infection. 


    The scaling down of elective surgery will also increase hospital capacity and provide the opportunity for specific training for staff. It also allows redeployment of staff to key areas and increase overall preparedness in hospitals.


    The McGowan Government welcomes a high number of responses to the call for additional clinical staff in our hospitals and clinics. Workforce planning for staff managing COVID-19 patients remains an absolute priority and any members of the public with clinical skills and experience are strongly encouraged to make contact.


    Members of the public can telephone the COVID-19 Health Information Line 1800 020 080 for advice and find more information, including specific clinic locations, by visiting https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "The safety of our frontline staff is our utmost priority in the ongoing response to COVID-19.


    "This decision, which we have now enacted, to scale back elective surgery is essential to ensure we have access to the right protective equipment to protect our staff who care for patients with COVID-19.


    "I understand reducing elective surgery will cause distress for some people, however the COVID-19 pandemic requires us to preserve our PPE and free up capacity in our hospitals."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500