Delaying elective surgery could spark ‘massive healthcare crisis’ in Victoria, experts warn

Delaying elective surgery could spark ‘massive healthcare crisis’ in Victoria, experts warn

Victoria, Health

1/21/2022 4:36:00 AM

Delaying elective surgery could spark ‘massive healthcare crisis’ in Victoria , experts warn

Doctors and patients criticise state government decision to suspend procedures during Covid wave

Photograph: Diego Fedele/Getty ImagesWhen the La Trobe University lecturer Dr Yves Rees was told their gender affirmation surgery would be cancelled, they were devastated. “It was impossible to contemplate,” they said.. But at the time, Rees was told there would be an eight-month wait for the procedure.

Read moreThe changes came into effect from 6 January across Melbourne and major regional cities for a three-month period – to help hospitals manage record Covid-19 patients.02:23“Across the board, all specialties have been affected. Urgent surgery too has seen waiting times longer than ideal because of staff shortages, staff illness and staff furlough,” she said.

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انقذوا_بن_نعوم save_benaoum Stop_arrests_in_Algeria Perhaps all the surgeons could cut their income to job keeper levels for the next year and the savings can go back into healthcare The same thing is happening in the UK. Common link is Murdoch and his mates, who own most of our media and also have huge shares in private health corporations, petrochemicals and arms manufacturers. More unfettered, rampant capitalism coming to your town soon...

‘IVF is not a choice’: Victoria’s elective surgery restrictions cause heartache for patients Victoria n IVF providers warn of the ‘devastating effect’ this delay will have on patients who can’t afford to wait for treatment Pretty sure having kids (or trying to) is actually a choice. Of course it's a choice ffs! Some people should definitely not be afforded that choice, but thats a different story.

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The Victorian government announced in early January elective surgery would be suspended to ease pressure on hospitals amid the Omicron surge. Photograph: Diego Fedele/Getty Images The Victorian government announced in early January elective surgery would be suspended to ease pressure on hospitals amid the Omicron surge. Photograph: Diego Fedele/Getty Images Fri 21 Jan 2022 01.13 GMT Last modified on Fri 21 Jan 2022 01.23 GMT When the La Trobe University lecturer Dr Yves Rees was told their gender affirmation surgery would be cancelled, they were devastated. “It was impossible to contemplate,” they said. Rees’ procedure was scheduled for November, during the Delta wave, and was later reinstated when elective surgery was reintroduced in Victoria . But at the time, Rees was told there would be an eight-month wait for the procedure. “There can be a perception gender affirmation surgeries are a choice, something people would prefer to do rather than not,” they said. “That’s not correct; the reality is these are very much medically necessary surgeries …this can be the difference between a life of constant gender dysphoria and acute stress and anxiety, and a life of feeling good.” Read more Health experts warn delaying elective surgeries in Victoria, including gender affirmation procedures, will see blown out waiting lists spiral into a “massive healthcare crisis”. On 5 January, the Victorian government announced elective surgery – except for “emergency and urgent” procedures – would be temporarily suspended to ease pressure on public and private hospitals amid the Omicron wave. The changes came into effect from 6 January across Melbourne and major regional cities for a three-month period – to help hospitals manage record Covid-19 patients. But on Thursday, were exempted from the restrictions following a social media backlash, with hospitals scaling up to resume procedures from 25 January. 02:23 ‘I apologise for any stress’: Victoria reinstates IVF services after elective surgery pause – video Royal Australasian College of Surgeons president Dr Sally Langley said the recurring ban on elective surgery in Victoria had a “profound effect”. She wants a return of short-stay surgery in adequately-equipped hospitals and facilities. “Across the board, all specialties have been affected. Urgent surgery too has seen waiting times longer than ideal because of staff shortages, staff illness and staff furlough,” she said. “Victoria has already been through this with the bans on elective surgery in the last couple of years. There’ll be an even longer waiting list for important surgery and [patients] may well deteriorate.” Langley said the term “elective surgery” encompassed “serious pressing” surgeries including painful mobility and arthritic problems that would be “significantly worse” within 30 days. “We do know surgery can go ahead in a hospital that’s adequately staffed, where people are free of Covid,” she said. “Surgeons and their teams should be working to keep up their skills. The longer periods of time they’re away from work, there’ll be some anxiety about maintenance of skills.” A Victorian anaesthetist employed in the public and private sector said he welcomed the return of IVF but the current shutdown in clinical work had left him with a “very nasty taste” in his mouth. “I don’t see a reason for the overwhelming shutdown of every sector of healthcare,” he said. “Hospital and ICU beds are in short supply … so I can understand restricting surgery if those resources are required, but there’s a whole sector of day surgery procedures, where most of the patients never even see the inside of a ward or a hospital bed. Why can’t those operations carry on?” Sign up to receive the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning The current national definition for elective surgery is care that can be delayed for at least 24 hours – used to distinguish between emergency care which requires action within that timeframe. The banner includes a wide range of procedures from cataract extractions and endometrial procedures to coronary artery bypass grafts, full hip and knee replacements and some cancer procedures. The department of health said further advice was being sought about other services that could resume without a “critical impact” on workforce capacity. It said the state’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, provided advice to the acting health minister, James Merlino, that the “specialist nature” of the workforce, facilities and equipment used in IVF weren’t “imperative” to support the pandemic response. Merlino said he was “deeply sorry” for the distress caused by affected services in recent weeks and was “working to have other services restored as soon as we can”. There are three “clinical urgency” categories for elective hospital care – the highest with the potential to become an emergency within 30 days. Category two recommends admission within 90 days for a condition causing “pain, dysfunction or disability”, while category three recommends admission is “unlikely to deteriorate quickly” or become an emergency. Quick Guide How to get the latest news from Guardian Australia Show