Elective surgery to resume as virus cases drop

Prime Minister announces some elective surgeries can start again after Anzac Day weekend

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Reduction in COVID-19 cases will allow elective surgery to resume in Australian hospitals.

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ELECTIVE surgery will resume in Australian hospitals after the Anzac Day weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.

He said the National Cabinet, which includes the Prime Minister, premiers and chief ministers had agreed to lift the restrictions which were introduced last month on all but the most urgent elective surgery.

The ban was brought in to free up hospital beds in anticipation of a massive escalation in COVID-19 cases and to preserve face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline medical workers during the pandemic.

Joint replacements including hips, knees and shoulders, cataract surgery and some other eye procedures, post cancer reconstruction such as breast reconstruction, some dental procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures, IVF and all procedures for children under 18 are among those that will be able to take place.

A substantial increase in the availability of PPE including millions of face masks and a reduction in COVID-19 infection rates has prompted the reversal.

"This will not mean an immediate return to normal with elective surgery, but a gradual restart, subject of course to capacity and other constraints that may exist in each jurisdiction," Mr Morrison said.

The situation will be subject to review on May 11.

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