What is the plan for non-COVID healthcare? AMA (NSW)
- On September 7, 2021
AMA (NSW) is calling on the State Government to be transparent with the public about the impact of delaying non-COVID care on patients and our health system.
“We appreciate the challenges facing the NSW Health system as it deals with the evolving and urgent COVID-19 crisis, and we understand the need to provide all possible resources to meet these challenges. However, we must also consider the consequences of shutting down elective surgery and the impact on patients needing non-COVID care,” said AMA (NSW) President, Dr Danielle McMullen.
“The decision to suspend elective surgery, and changes to other non-COVID service provision in public and private hospitals is significantly impacting patients needing access to care and must be balanced with a plan on how to address patient needs in the coming months,” she added.
“The suspension of elective surgery is affecting patients waiting for semi-urgent Category 2 surgery, which is recommended within 90 days. It is clear from the modelling released by the NSW Government yesterday that the NSW health system will be operating in crisis mode well into November, if not beyond.
“We’re concerned that ICU demand in December will be ‘severe’ at a time when we’re opening up again.
“Patients who aren’t able to go back to work or are in chronic pain because they need elective surgery will be left behind when we start to open up. There are very far-reaching consequences that must be considered.
“AMA (NSW) fully supports the use of all parts of the health system to combat the current COVID-19 crisis. General practices have already shown their critical value and we welcome the support and participation of private hospitals as part of the comprehensive COVID response.
“However, this needs to be done with proper consideration and planning and a desire to provide care as safely as possible, as soon as possible,” Dr McMullen said.
“The Government has released its modelling for ICU demand and capacity, and it has a plan for phased reopening based on vaccination numbers, but where is the plan for non-COVID care?
“Where is the overarching plan to show how dependencies in one part of the health system affect other parts?” said Dr McMullen.
Media contact: Andrea Cornish - 0419 402 955