Non-urgent elective surgery will recommence at public and private facilities within Greater Sydney, including the Nepean Blue Mountains region, from Monday, 25 October.
NSW Health Deputy Secretary Wayne Jones said the safe recommencement of non-urgent elective surgery is now possible after it was temporarily postponed to support the NSW health system’s response to the recent Delta outbreak.
“Thanks to the extraordinarily high vaccination rates across the state and declining community transmission of COVID-19, patients can now have their non-urgent surgery,” Mr Jones said.
“NSW Health will at the same time continue to ensure our integrated hospital system has the capacity to manage the ongoing COVID-19 response.”
All emergency surgery and urgent elective surgery continued to be performed across the state since non-urgent surgery was postponed in public hospitals in Greater Sydney from 2 August and many private hospitals from 23 August.
Non-urgent elective day surgery, including IVF services, resumed on 5 October in NSW private hospitals for both public and private patients.
Overnight elective surgery will be capped at 75 per cent in both public and private facilities in the Greater Sydney area, including Nepean Blue Mountains.
Private facilities within this region can exceed this cap if they are providing surgery for public patients. There will be no restrictions on facilities in regional NSW providing overnight non-urgent elective surgery.
Generally, non-urgent elective surgery continued in regional and rural NSW, however temporary restrictions were put in place in response to local outbreaks, such as in Western NSW and Far West NSW.
Where necessary, local health districts may impose temporary restrictions in the event of an outbreak to ensure the community is kept safe and can access hospital care if required.
All local health districts’ workforce surge plans remain in place to respond to the pandemic in the event that cases of community transmission are identified locally.
Mr Jones thanked the staff from many private hospitals across NSW who have assisted the NSW Government’s response to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
“Staff from private hospitals have been providing care to public patients during the ongoing pandemic, including in the large-scale vaccination effort and supporting workforce demands in the NSW public health system,” he said.
“We also acknowledge the critical importance of private hospitals in delivering timely and high-quality care for our communities and we thank them for their ongoing partnership in responding to the pandemic.
“These private hospitals have been conducting additional elective surgery on behalf of the public health system for patients who had their non-urgent elective surgery postponed in 2020, following a National Cabinet decision.”
In 2020-21 the NSW Government provided an extra $458.5 million to fast-track elective surgeries which were delayed as a result of the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and a further $80 million has been provided as part of the 2021-22 NSW Budget.
The NSW Government has committed more than $4 billion to the NSW health system to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.