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Friday / August 19.
HomeminewsRANZCO Ready and Waiting for Return of Elective Surgeries

RANZCO Ready and Waiting for Return of Elective Surgeries

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Minister for Health, Hon. Greg Hunt, that elective surgery is likely to recommence soon.

Minister Hunt announced Australia has received 60 million face masks with another 100 million more to come through the end of May. The Minister acknowledged these needed personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies “will help give us the option to consider increases in elective surgery”.

it is especially important that vulnerable Australians are able to have their vision restored as we continue to observe isolation across the population

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, the College stood with the Australian government’s decision to put on hold non-urgent surgery. With “a sustained and genuine flattening of the curve,” according to Mr Hunt, the College stands behind the government as they look to slowly ease restrictions so that Australians can again benefit from access to sight-saving surgery.

RANZCO President, A/Prof Heather Mack, says “Many non-urgent eye surgeries have been delayed, which was appropriate at the time. But as we now all understand how to work with social distancing, the national stocks of PPE are being replenished and we’re working together to flatten the curve, it will soon be appropriate to restart surgery, such as fixing cataracts.”

Ophthalmologists believe beginning with cataract surgery is a very important place to start; cataract is the most performed procedure in Australia with a growing backlog. Once safe, it is especially important that vulnerable Australians are able to have their vision restored as we continue to observe isolation across the population.”

RANZCO urges the National Cabinet to carefully consider the benefit that will quickly come to many thousands of patients if eye surgery recommences.

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