There are two different pathways. Obviously, regional Victoria finds itself in a better virus position than metropolitan Melbourne.
But essentially we’ll see the percentage from tomorrow in regional Victoria will go back to around 75%. 28 September will then jump to 85%.
Metropolitan Melbourne from 28 September, assuming we get between the long-term average between 30 and 50 cases, which we’re confident it will be.
They can go to 75% and then progressively build from there. To put it another way, essentially we plan under this cautious and safe reintroduction of elective surgery, we plan to have approximately 18,750 additional elective surgeries across private and public hospitals in October, and an extra 10,500 surgeries across those settings in November.
That will mean that we can deal with the backlog – and I do, again, apologise to those who have had to wait for their surgery, but the nature of this pandemic, we had to create capacity for aged care residents who potentially needed to come into hospital.
There was also a safety issue with as much virus in the community, many people who need elective surgery, they’ve got other underlying health issues, so there were a number of factors that had to be balanced there.
Category 1 surgery, the most urgent, has continued. There’s been no change to that and the most urgent category 2 have continued as well.
These will by and large be people in category 3 and those that are in that second half, or the back end of category 2.
This will be good news for them, but no one will have to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary to get the care that they need.
We’ll have more to say at the appropriate time, not just about resuming business as usual, but a substantial blitz – extra funding to make sure that extra surgery is done in quick time.