Some surgeries off at Base

December 16, 2022 BY

Cutting in: Category 1 and high urgency category 2 surgeries are being given priority at the Ballarat Base Hospital as the current wave of COVID19 impacts staffing and caseloads. Photo: FILE

THE Ballarat Base Hospital will limit some elective surgeries until further notice.

Implemented on Friday, 9 December, Grampians Health administrators moved to cut the volume of elective surgeries performed at the hospital due to increasing numbers of COVID19 patients and the virus’ impacts on staffing.

Currently, category 1 and high urgency category 2 surgeries are being given priority.

“We know how important access to the surgery is, and we will continue to review surgeries in a way that considers the needs of our workforce and current system demand,” said Ben Kelly, chief operating officer of hospitals with the regional health service.

“Grampians Health continue to collaborate with St John of God Hospital and other providers in response to this impact on services.”

As part of an increase in statewide COVID19 numbers, similar restrictions on some treatments are being seen across the health system.

A statement from Grampians Health said patients scheduled for surgery would be contacted by the service, while, “Face-to-face outpatient appointments and specialist clinic appointments will be reduced where possible or moved to telehealth.”

“We thank the community for their ongoing support and kindness towards our hardworking staff,” the statement said.

Grampians Health did not say what the outlook on return to normal operating procedures might be.

COVID-19 disruptions have been blamed for the lowest number of public elective surgeries performed in over a decade nationwide.

The number of patients treated over the past financial year on non-emergency waiting lists fell to the lowest since 2010-11 according to data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.