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NSW Health scraps cap on elective surgeries as state reaches ‘very high rates’ of vaccination

Elective surgery will return to full capacity for public and private patients in hospitals across Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra health districts from next Monday as NSW reaches “very high rates of vaccination”.

A 75 per cent cap was placed on overnight, non-urgent elective surgery in public and private hospitals across NSW on October 25 to help the health system cope with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

But NSW Health said it was now safe to remove the cap, allowing everyone in Greater Sydney who requires for elective surgery to make plans for their procedures from next week.

“The 75 per cent cap on overnight, non-urgent elective surgery in public and private hospitals can now be safely removed due to the very high rates of vaccination in NSW and stable levels of community transmission,” a statement from the department said.

PREMIER PRESSER
Camera IconNSW Health said it was now safe to remove the cap on elective surgery given the state’s ‘very high rates of vaccination’. NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

“The NSW Government is providing $30 million to support private hospitals to undertake additional elective surgery on behalf of the NSW Health system to ensure that patients who have their non-urgent day surgery elective surgery postponed will be scheduled for surgery as soon as possible.”

Non-urgent, elective surgeries treat conditions that cause minimal or no physical pain, dysfunction or disability, and do not have the potential to become an emergency.

These procedures can range from anywhere from hip replacements, to tonsillectomies, to cosmetic surgery.

ST GEORGE HOSPITAL
Camera IconNon-urgent, elective surgeries will return to full capacity in Greater Sydney hospitals from next Monday. NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone Credit: News Corp Australia

Despite the return to full capacity next Monday, NSW Health said caps on elective surgeries could be reintroduce the surrounding area of a hospital experience a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.

“Where necessary, local health districts may impose temporary restrictions at a hospital in the event of a local outbreak to ensure the community is kept safe and can access hospital care if required,” the department said.

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