A partial resumption of elective surgery in Melbourne and Geelong provides no relief for people in Mildura who have already spent too many months waiting in pain.
Non-urgent elective surgery restarted at private hospitals and day procedure clinics in Melbourne and Geelong on Monday, bringing them in line with the 50 per cent cap in place in hospitals in regional Victoria.
But with the elective surgery waitlist already at record levels before Daniel Andrews ordered its shutdown in 2020, Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said the changes don’t go far enough.
“People will spend many more months waiting in pain in Mildura and getting sicker because the Andrews Labor Government still hasn’t done the work to prepare Victoria’s health system,” Mr Walsh said.
“Instead of providing hope that Labor will finally get its act together, the Health Minister’s advice to sick Victorians is to go see their doctor if their health gets worse so they can be ‘re-prioritised’.
“The ongoing cap on elective surgeries is an admission the Labor Government knows it hasn’t done enough to make sure Victoria’s health system can cope with a surge in COVID cases.”
The Liberal Nationals have been calling for a targeted approach that allows our health services to face both the COVID-19 pandemic and safely deal with the tens of thousands of Victorians who urgently need vital elective surgery procedures.
Mr Walsh said it’s important that the health system is not overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, but questioned the ongoing cap, especially at day surgery centres that don’t care for COVID patients.
“The Labor Government had nearly two years to prepare our state’s health system for a surge in COVID cases, but failed to do so,” Mr Walsh said.
“As a result our health system is in crisis and the elective surgery suspensions have meant more Victorians are waiting in pain and getting sicker.”