Some Elective Surgeries Will Be Allowed In Australia From Next Week
Some elective surgeries will be able to go ahead from next week after the National Cabinet met to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says after much debate, state and territory leaders have agreed to allow some procedures to be scheduled.
All Category 2 or equivalent procedures in the private sector will be allowed as well as the following Category 3 procedures:
- All IVF
- All screening programs where they have ceased
- Post cancer reconstructions, including breast reconstruction
- Critical dental procedures
- All procedures for children under the age of 18
- All joint replacements including knees, hips, and shoulders
- All cataract and eye procedures
- Endoscopy and colonoscopy
The surgeries will kick back into gear from April 27.
Authorities will review the situation on May 11 to see whether other categories could be reopened.
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The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, added: "This is an opportunity in a safe and controlled manner to slowly restart, cognisant of making the process safe, cognisant of getting the facilities up and running again, cognisant of the need to preserve our PPE, this is a gentle, careful start of normalising what is so important, the general healthcare needs of the community."
But Mr Morrison says this decision should not lead to people asking their government to ease social restrictions.
"For those who are asking when can we ease," the prime minister said. "Well, we were clear about that last week. We laid down some clear markers as to what the requirements would be.
"We said there needed to be an effective rate of transmission less than the score of one. And we said we need to get in place over these four weeks that we're now in - almost one week down in that timetable - of testing, tracing and a response capability on the ground.
"National Cabinet will continue to look at those areas that may be able to be eased at the end of that period when we look at those issues. But they are the clear markers. They are the clear prerequisites. There is no uncertainty about that. I think that's very clear.
"An effective rate of transmission consistently under 1 and putting in place the testing and tracing and response capabilities that are necessary for us to stay on top of any outbreak or any risks that could emerge when we moved into a period where we may be able to ease those restrictions."
The prime minister also revealed that 517,000 JobSeeker claims have been processed since March 16.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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