COVID-19 Capacity Boost As Elective Surgery Blitz Starts

New hospital beds will be opened to manage COVID-19 patients, and more than 7,000 Victorians will be fast-tracked for elective surgery in the next few weeks, in the next step of Victoria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced that the new $100 million COVID-19 response package is designed to boost capacity in the health system in preparation for the pandemic peak.

More than $60 million will be made available to both public and private hospitals to undertake additional surgery such as thyroid, prostate, hernia or gynaecological surgeries – so they can be done before the predicted peak of the pandemic places further strain on our hospital system.

While Victorians can be assured that emergency surgeries will continue to be performed as we deal with the pandemic, it’s likely that procedures in less urgent categories will have to be postponed.

The elective surgery blitz will help prevent additional delays for vulnerable Victorians and free up hospital capacity for when it’s needed most.

A further $30 million will be used to commission the new Casey Hospital inpatient tower to boost capacity across Victoria’s hospital system – adding an additional 140 beds in time for the peak of the pandemic.

Built as part of a $135 million redevelopment, the new inpatient tower includes an additional 128 beds, and a 12-bed Intensive Care Unit, which will help take some of the strain off the major tertiary hospitals as demand increases.

The Labor Government will also spend $10 million to boost Personal Protective Equipment supplies in Victoria – including 100 million gloves, 10 million masks and 1.5 million gowns to ensure healthworkers have the necessary resources to do their jobs.

These new actions will help prepare Victoria’s world-class health system to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice if you are displaying symptoms.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We know that when the COVID-19 pandemic reaches its peak our hospitals are going to be busier than ever, so it makes sense to get as many patients as possible in for elective surgery now, while we still can.”

“This is to help avoid longer waiting times now and ensure additional capacity in the hospital system, when we need it most.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Our hospitals have been planning for this pandemic to ensure they have the capacity to deal with an influx of patients with COVID-19 and ensure the continued safety of staff.”

“This elective surgery blitz will not only help our hospitals get ready for the peak of the pandemic, but also help thousands of Victorian patients to receive treatment sooner.”