Elective surgeries suspended as Victoria tackles aged care outbreaks

Elective surgeries suspended as Victoria tackles aged care outbreaks

With 769 of Victoria's 7,775 active cases of COVID-19 in the aged care sector, the state government is suspending non-urgent elective surgeries and reshuffling the health care workforce.

Effective immediately, elective surgeries other than for Category 1 and the most urgent Category 2 patients will be suspended.

Further, hospital staff from Eastern Health and the Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne will be moved into a number of aged care settings where there are outbreaks.

State Premier Daniel Andrews says while the private sector aged care services are not the State Government's responsibility, the measures will be put in place to protect all Victorians.

"I cannot stand here and tell you that I have confidence that staff and management, across a number of private aged care facilities are able to provide the care that is appropriate to keep their residents safe," says Andrews.

"It's not about blame, it's not about demarcations and having disputes about who's in charge of what, it's just about getting on, and getting this done."

Under the new arrangements, where there is no confidence that care can be provided to a suitable standard by the private sector aged care providers the State Government will move residents out of those settings into hospitals both public and private.

There have already been around 2,000 residents moved from private sector aged care facilities into hospitals.

"This does not mean that every resident in an aged care facility that has an outbreak will be moved en masse to the public or, indeed, to a private hospital. It will always be based on clinical need," clarifies Andrews.

"Whilst this is not a sector that we have any involvement in, the residents are Victorians and we need to look after them."

The development comes as Victoria reports 384 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the state's total number of active cases to 7,775.

The State also reported six new deaths today, four of which are linked to private sector aged care.

Today's new figures come in conjunction with the state ticking over the 3,000 mark of cases under investigation, demonstrating that the State still has a while to go until it gets this latest outbreak under control.

Updated at 12:12pm AEST on 28 July 2020.

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