30 July 2021

Non-urgent elective surgery will be temporarily postponed at public hospitals in Greater Sydney, excluding the Illawarra Shoalhaven and Central Coast Local Health Districts, from Monday, 2 August.

This measure was previously implemented in March 2020 following a decision by National Cabinet, and will ensure the resources and capacity required for the COVID-19 response are maintained during the current outbreak.

All emergency surgery and urgent elective surgery will continue unaffected. There is currently sufficient ICU capacity for all patients who require intensive care, with more than 500 beds available throughout the system.

As part of its comprehensive planning for its pandemic response, NSW Health has the capacity to quadruple its current ICU capacity if required. There would also be ventilators available for each of these ICU beds.

Those waiting for non-urgent elective surgery impacted by the changes will be contacted and encouraged to reach out to their referring doctor should their condition in any way deteriorate, so they can be reviewed and re-prioritised to a more urgent category if required.

Postponing non-urgent surgery will support the state’s healthcare workers as they manage the demands of the COVID-19 response, providing increased capacity to support health services for the people of Greater Sydney.

NSW Health has a very integrated health system and local health districts and hospitals work together on a daily basis to ensure the optimal delivery of healthcare services. All local health districts have workforce surge plans ready to respond to the pandemic, in the event that cases of community transmission are identified locally.

The NSW Government has committed more than $4 billion to the NSW health system to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.