Almost all surgeries in New South Wales will come to a halt in private hospitals, after the state reported a record high 633 Covid cases on Wednesday.
The ongoing surge in infections has put immense pressure on the already stretched resources of the healthcare system and now the NSW Ministry of Health wants to free up staff to cope with the influx of cases.
NSW Ministry of Health’s deputy secretary Phil Minns issued a letter to private hospitals across the state declaring that only ’emergency’ surgeries would will be permitted from August 23.
Almost all surgeries in New South Wales will come to a halt in private hospitals, after the state reported a record high 633 Covid cases on Wednesday. Pictured: paramedics are seen at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Thursday, August 1, 2019
The ongoing surge in infections has put immense pressure on the already stretched resources of the healthcare system and now the NSW Ministry of Health wants to free up staff to cope with the influx of cases
What surgeries are still permitted?
The ‘special conditions’ order will only permit category one procedures.
These are identified as surgeries which could ‘deteriorate quickly to the point that it may become an emergency’.
Patients who undergo category one procedures are also required to be admitted to hospital within 30 days.
The three remaining three categories, which are all not likely to become and emergency, will be subject to the ban.
Mr Minns said the ban will brought in to ‘protect the health and safety of the public through reducing risk of community transmission by restricting the range of medical and/or hospital services being offered at certain licenced private health facilities’.
He hopes the shock move will help ‘maintain a balance of services offered by licenced facilities throughout the State’ and ‘increase the availability of trained health staff to assist in supporting the coordinated statewide response of the NSW Government to the Covid-19 pandemic.’
The ‘special conditions’ order under the Private Health Facilities Act separates all non-elective surgeries into four categories.
Category one procedures, which require patients to be admitted within 30 days and have the risk of becoming an ’emergency’ are still able to go ahead.
But the remaining three categories will be subject to the ban.
Category two surgeries are outlined as procedures which require admission within 90 days but are not likely to become an emergency.
Likewise, category three surgeries pertain to procedures where admission within 365 days is preferred, but have a low risk of their condition deteriorating rapidly.
The fourth category is identified as those who have deferred admission for personal reasons or are clinically not yet ready for their admission.
Private hospitals effected by the ban on non-elective surgery
Calvary Riverina Hospital
Macquarie University Hospital
Albury Wodonga Private Hospital
Armidale Private Hospital
Baringa Private Hospital
Castlecrag Private Hospital
Hunters Hill Private Hospital
Kareena Private Hospital
Lake Macquarie Private Hospital
North Shore Private Hospital
Nowra Private Hospital
Port Macquarie Private Hospital
Southern Highlands Private Hospital
St George Private Hospital
Strathfield Private Hospital
Warners Bay Private Hospital
Wollongong Private Hospital
Brisbane Waters Private Hospital
Dubbo Private Hospital
Forster Private Hospital
Gosford Private Hospital
Hurstville Private Hospital
Lingard Private Hospital
Maitland Private Hospital
Mayo Private Hospital
Shellharbour Private Hospital
Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital
Sydney Adventist Hospital
Campbelltown Private Hospital
Hunter Valley Private Hospital
Newcastle Private Hospital
Norwest Private Hospital
Prince of Wales Private Hospital
Sydney Southwest Private Hospital
Nepean Private Hospital
Northern Beaches Hospital
St Vincent’s Private Community Hospital
Griffith Mater Hospital
Sydney St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Darlinghurst
Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak exploded yet again on Wednesday as NSW authorities confirmed the state’s worst day of the pandemic to date with a record 633 new cases and three deaths from the virus overnight.
An unvaccinated man in his 60s died from the virus at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney’s south-west and two men in their late 70s died at Nepean Hospital.
One of them was fully vaccinated and the other had received his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Of the new cases, 550 were found in west and south-west Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the worst was yet to come for the city after almost eight weeks spent in lockdown.
‘What the data is telling us in the last few days is that we haven’t seen the worst of it,’ she said.
Berejiklian snapped at a reporter who asked why she hasn’t plunged NSW into a more radical lockdown, telling him bluntly: ‘it’s not your press conference’.
Sky News journalist Andrew Clennell was reprimanded by the premier for continually asking questions about whether she will implement a harder, stage-four lockdown.
‘Excuse me, it’s not your press conference, there’s other journalists here as well,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
She also hit out at the 448 residents across NSW who were caught leaving home without an essential reason in the past day alone – a statistic she described as ‘heartbreaking’.
Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak has exploded yet again as NSW hit a record 633 new cases overnight. Pictured is a Sydneysider wearing a mask in the city on Monday
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the worst was yet to come for Sydneysiders as the state recorded by far the highest daily rise in cases during the Covid-19 pandemic to date
‘Can I just ask everybody to care. Don’t care about us or the broader community, but care about those closest to you,’ she said.
‘Care about your family, your friends that you are causing inordinate amounts of grief.
‘Even if you don’t care about the people you don’t know, care about those closest to you because you are risking their lives and you’re risking their livelihoods.’
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant warned there will be more deaths from the virus if current trends continue.
Ms Berejiklian launched into a reporter for insisting she send the entirety of New South Wales into a more radical lockdown , saying: ‘it’s not your press conference’
Of the new cases, 550 were found in Sydney’s west and south-west. Pictured is a police officer and ADF personnel monitoring a line of people waiting to receive their Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday
‘We will see more admissions and more deaths if these numbers continue to increase,’ she said. ‘We have a collective responsibility to do all we can to stop seeing those deaths.’
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro also pleaded for residents in regional parts of the state to stay home after 23 cases were recorded in western NSW – including 17 in Dubbo.
‘The message for everybody is to follow the stay at home orders and cut down mobility,’ he said.
Fifteen cases were detected in the Hunter-New England region and 54 were found in the Nepean Blue Mountains region west of Sydney.
Seating areas are pictured roped off to prevent members of the public gathering at Bronte Beach in Sydney on Wednesday
There are 462 Covid-19 cases in hospital across NSW – 77 of whom are in intensive care, with 25 requiring ventilation.
Ms Berejiklian earlier on Wednesday morning revealed hairdressers, beauticians and cleaners could be among the first professions to get back to work once they are fully vaccinated.
‘I don’t want to give the game away but it would be potentially, you know, services which could be provided to people so long as both parties are vaccinated,’ she told KIIS FM.
A health expert has offered a glimmer of hope for long-suffering Sydneysiders desperate to be freed from lockdown, saying harder restrictions could mean cases plummet within months.
Epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely said he believed NSW can significantly drop to as few as 30 cases a day by mid-October under a ‘hard lockdown’ which used tougher restrictions.
‘It will take until about mid-October under really hard lockdown under modelling we are releasing tomorrow, or February under a soft lockdown,’ Professor Blakely told The Project on Tuesday night.
A queue to receive a Covid-19 vaccine is pictured at the New South Wales Health vaccination centre at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Tuesday
‘So it will take a long time to get those case numbers down to that level. This is really challenging stuff. It is more about a bridge over towards October, November, when the vaccination coverages get up and seeing how we go at that point. It is challenging.’
He had difficulty describing the current state of Sydney’s 53-day lockdown when asked if it was a ‘soft’ lockdown unlikely to decrease cases.
‘I don’t know what they are in, to be honest,’ he conceded.
‘A hard lockdown would take until October to get to about five cases a day.