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Only urgent elective procedures from midnight, says PM

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Only the most vital elective surgery procedures will be conducted from midnight tonight, as the health system prepares for an influx of coronavirus patients.

Only the most vital elective surgery procedures will be conducted from midnight tonight, as the health system prepares for an influx of coronavirus patients.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the suspension of non-urgent procedures will apply in both the public and private hospital system.

"Until further notice, all elective surgery other than Category 1 and urgent, and I stress, urgent Category 2 cases will be suspended," Mr Morrison said.

"Cancellation of elective surgery will allow the preservation of resources like personal protective equipment and allow health services to prepare for their role in the COVID-19 outbreak."

Scott Morrison has formed a coronavirus commission led by Nev Power.

Already doctors and nurses are being forced to ration their use of personal protective equipment like face masks.

The National Cabinet made the decision on the recommendation of a panel of medical experts.

Category one elective surgery procedures require admission within 30 days, and have a potential to deteriorate quickly.

They include heart valve replacements and limb amputations.

Many coronavirus patients need a ventilator to breathe.

Category two procedures include colposcopies and amputations of fingers and toes.

In NSW, urgent surgeries account for about a quarter of elective procedures.

As coronavirus cases skyrocket worldwide, health authorities here are preparing for an incredible strain on staffing and equipment.

Coming close to becoming an epicentre of the outbreak, New York has called for 30,000 ventilators to handle the strain.

coronavirus

New York has a smaller population than Australia.

There are 2000 ventilators currently in Australian hospitals.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has warned that the crisis was likely to last at least six months.

"This is a hardship like none that we will have faced - not just in our lifetimes, but in 100 years," he said.

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"You have the combination of what we saw in 1919 and 1920 with the Spanish flu and the human and health impacts, and then we have an economic impact unlike anything we've seen obviously since late 1920s and 30s."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-elective-surgeries-urgent-prime-minister-scott-morrison-covid19-updates/391364b9-bbea-4eee-8f3a-984423ed6104

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