Limiting non-urgent elective surgery at this time is an essential response for the health system. Continuation of non-urgent surgery risks further pressure on the health system’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). NSW is already experiencing a shortage of PPE and any extension of non-urgent surgery (public or private) will potentially diminish our stock of this equipment further.
Surgeons have a key role in the response to COVID-19 by looking after emergency and semi-urgent patients optimally and to preserve resources that may be needed in other parts of the health service to deal with this pandemic.
The Surgical Community of Practice and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons jointly calls on all our colleagues to consciously avoid non urgent surgery and to preserve vital resources for the potentially very difficult times ahead. There are guidelines developed jointly by ACI/State committee of RACS to help you address these choices and encourage you to follow them. For more information, refer to Key principles for management of surgery during COVID-19 pandemic.