Temporary suspension of all semi-urgent elective surgery

< Back to COVID-19 Homepage

26 March 2015

Important Update

National Cabinet agreed to extend the deadline for the suspension of semi urgent Category 2 and 3 elective surgeries at private hospitals to 11.59pm on 1 April 2020.
National Cabinet agreed that states and territories will continue to work with private hospital groups to ensure they can support efforts to protect Australians against coronavirus.
The changes will allow greater transition for the community to the new arrangements and ensure the national supply of essential PPE - such as masks, gowns, gloves and goggles for the healthcare workforce.

25 March 2020

All elective surgery (outside urgent electives) will be postponed from tonight.

Scott Morrison says the national cabinet has taken on board the medical experts recommendations to stop all non-urgent surgeries, to free up hospitals, staff, and resources, for what is coming:

From today, midnight, March 25, until further notice, all elective surgery other than Category 1 and urgent, and I stress, urgent Category 2 cases will be suspended.

This will apply in both the public and the private hospital system. Cancellation of elective surgery will allow the preservation of resources like personal protective equipment and allow health services to prepare for their role in the Covid-19 outbreak.

Now, this had already largely been implemented for Category 1 and Category 2, and what this means is a further scaling back of those elective surgeries in Category 2.

We understand this may cause concerns for members working in private and acute settings. As soon as we have further information regarding cancellations of elective surgeries, we will issue further updates.