- WA public and private hospitals to increase elective surgery to 50 percent of all normal elective surgical activity
- Surgery to resume across all categories
- Focus will be on urgent cases and people who have experienced long waits
- Increase possible due to a low number of COVID-19 cases in WA and careful use of Personal Protective Equipment
On Monday May 18 elective surgery in Western Australia will be ramped up to at least 50 per cent of all normal elective surgical activity in both public and private hospitals.
The decision follows agreement today at National Cabinet on a new framework to grow elective surgery.
In WA the resumption of normal surgical activity will apply to all categories: 1, 2 and 3. There will be particular focus on categories 1 and 2, plus on people who have had long waits, described by the WA Health Department as 'over boundary' patients.
Activity and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be monitored carefully over the next two weeks, prior to a decision to increase elective surgery activity to 75 per cent.
Further growth in elective surgery will be dependent upon appropriate use of PPE, by both public and private hospitals, in line with State and national clinical policy.
As soon as it is safe and practical, under advice from the Department of Health, the McGowan Government will reinstate 100 per cent of elective surgery in WA.
From Monday March 23 only Category 1 surgery was undertaken in WA, and on Tuesday April 28 a quarter of Category 2 surgical activity resumed.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The further growth in elective surgery announced today is testament to our response to COVID-19, it has potential to be ramped up in the future.
"While these disruptions have been an inconvenience to many Western Australians, by pausing the range of business as usual activities, we've all played a role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and this will help steer us towards a sustained recovery."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The impact of resuming at least half our elective surgery will be closely monitored and reviewed after two weeks to ensure it does not compromise our stocks of Personal Protective Equipment and our preparedness to fight COVID-19 in the coming months.
"I know it's been difficult for many people, who have had their surgeries cancelled or postponed. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unique period.
"We are reinstating surgery across all categories, with a focus on urgent cases and patients who have had long waits. The ultimate aim here is to get back to 100 per cent, which we will do, as soon as it is safe and practical, under advice from the WA Health Department."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500