The near-total shutdown of elective surgery across Australia will end soon, following National Cabinet consideration on Tuesday.
The shutdown was imposed to ensure there would be enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses to manage a projected tsunami of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals.
But now there is a big backlog of Australians waiting for elective procedures.
Elective surgery waiting times are the bane of every state health minister’s life. Better ways to manage such procedures could be a major benefit from the shutdown and restart.
But we have to act quickly if we are to change how we manage these wait lists, as federal Health Minister Greg Hunt wants a staged reintroduction to begin on April 27.