Ban on elective surgeries, including IVF, to be gradually lifted from next week

Elective surgeries will gradually restart after Anzac Day, thanks to new coronavirus cases flatlining and more personal protective equipment in Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to reporters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it's too early to tell what the health impacts are of easing restrictions. Source: AAP

Some elective surgeries, including IVF and dental procedures, will restart in Australia next week.

State and federal leaders agreed on Tuesday to gradually resume elective surgeries due to an increase in personal protective equipment and the slowdown of new coronavirus cases.

Most elective surgeries were suspended last month to free up hospital capacity to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.
Source: Getty

Other procedures to restart after the Anzac Day long weekend include all children surgeries, joint replacements, eye procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopy.

It amounts to category two procedures as well as some category three.

Mr Morrison said national cabinet will review the decision on 11 May, to decide if all elective surgeries should begin again.

"Priority will be given ... on the basis of clinical determinations by the relevant health professionals and that will occur in both the public and private system," he told reporters in Canberra.

"This is an important decision because it marks another step on the way back. There is a road back."

A shipment of 58 million face masks was recently received by the Federal Government.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said another 100 million will arrive over the next six weeks.

As well, the goal of securing 7,500 ventilators had been reached.

"[This will make] an immense difference for families, whether it is in terms of IVF, dental pain or orthopaedic procedures .... it will mean a difference to the quality of life," Mr Hunt said.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.


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Published 21 April 2020 at 1:38pm, updated 21 April 2020 at 1:47pm