Professor Declan Murphy
And so it goes on!! We are back to quite severe restrictions on elective surgery in Melbourne in both private and public hospitals. This means that only the most urgent cases will be allowed to have surgery or investigations in the coming few weeks, or perhaps longer. We blogged previously about the various categories and what this means.
Thankfully, for the vast majority of Cancer Specialist’s patients, this means that we will still be able to offer surgery as planned. The current Government restrictions mean that only category one and urgent category two patients can proceed with surgery. This means that the vast majority of cancer patients, or suspected cancer patients, will be prioritised. We found that during the previous period of restrictions in April 2020, that we had no difficulties scheduling our patients for procedures at Epworth Richmond, Melbourne Private, or Peter Mac . Since that time, there has actually been a realisation that we need to further prioritise cancer diagnosis and treatment, and we therefore expect no real difficulties with scheduling our patients for surgery in the coming weeks and months.
However, there are certainly a few more hoops to jump through! You will all be aware of the requirement for patients living in the stage 3 restrictions area to have a negative COVID swab prior to surgery, and this system is working very well. You will also notice lots of precautions when you come to the hospital with temperature checking, lots of questions, and of course, everybody wearing face masks. All of this means that you will be safe, but please co-operate. Also please understand that our team have to work even harder with the bookings team at Epworth to get your surgery scheduled, so please bear with us if it takes a little while to confirm your booking details.
Hopefully, the madness will end soon, but in the meantime, please be reassured that cancer patients, or suspected cancer patients, remain a high priority and will be able to have surgery or investigations as planned.