21/04/2020 - 15:26

COVID-19 daily wrap: elective surgeries to resume

21/04/2020 - 15:26

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Roger Cook has revealed which procedures will be given priority when elective surgery resumes next week. WA has reported only one coronavirus case overnight. Regional WA will gain rapid virus testing that will produce results within an hour.

Mr Cook has urged Western Australians who have had their surgery postponed to not contact their hospitals. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira
  • Health Minister Roger Cook has revealed which Western Australians will be given priority when elective surgery resumes the weekend after Anzac Day.
  • Priority will be given to patients who have had their surgery cancelled because of COVID-19 or for those with more serious Category Two procedures.
  • “Our priority will be for patients who had their elective surgery cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Cook said. “We will also prioritise accordingly to the nationally-agreed lists of the following procedures which include paediatrics, endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures and other Category Twos, breast screening and some dentistry.”
  • Mr Cook has urged Western Australians who have had their surgery postponed to not contact their hospitals.
  • “Those who had their surgery rescheduled will be contacted and advised on a new date as soon as practical and possible,” he said. “Priority will be given on the basis of clinical need. It doesn’t help anyone if our hospital switchboards are flooded with calls. In fact, it may delay their ability to contact patients in a timely fashion.”
  • The announcement comes as WA reported one new coronavirus case in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 546. Active cases have fallen to 96 after eight people recovered overnight.
  • Mr Cook said the new case was a healthcare worker from Royal Perth Hospital. He says there are currently 26 COVID-19 patients in Perth hospitals, of which five are in intensive care.
  • A total 443 people have recovered from the virus in the state, while 29,566 Western Australians have tested negative.
  • Mr Cook today also introduced rapid COVID-19 testing for regional communities to ensure faster turnaround times for urgent cases. The testing will use new equipment that will produce results within an hour.
  • “Providing quick turnaround times and diagnostic equipment closer to some of the most vulnerable people in the state is essential as we continue to manage this global health crisis,” Mr Cook said. “This is another way we are increasing testing capacity in the system, and forms part of our extensive testing program.”
  • The first machines will become operational in Broome, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton in the coming weeks, Mr Cook said. Machines are also being considered for Port Hedland, Albany and Esperance.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said Australia was still “in the middle” of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Legislation designed to preserve commercial and residential tenancies has passed through state parliament. The new laws place a six month moratorium on evictions and a freeze on rent increases over the six month period. Landlords and tenants have been urged to negotiate a mutually-satisfactory arrangement around the repayment of any deferred rental amounts.

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