With the number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria continuing to trend downwards, Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced a phased restart of elective procedures in public and private hospitals.

Regional Victoria moves to return to 75% of usual elective surgery activity from today, and 85% from September 28. In metropolitan Melbourne, hospitals can move towards 75% from September 28, and 85% from October 26. A return to full capacity across the state is slated for November 23.

Let’s capitalise on this opportunity

The Victorian government’s announcement that elective procedures will restart is unquestionably welcome news for the tens of thousands of people waiting for a procedure. But it will be a missed opportunity if it doesn’t also involve rethinking the elective procedures system.

Fixing the backlog within a reasonable time will require major change to the way elective procedures are delivered in Victoria. This would benefit not only those currently waiting, but will have long-term effects after the pandemic has passed.

Original article published by The Conversation on the 17th September 2020. To read the full article click here.