QLD’s Metro North Health Stop All Elective Surgery Amid COVID Wave

Hospital's decision

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Queensland’s largest hospital and health service, Metro North Health, has cancelled all elective surgery as the third wave of COVID-19 continues to place pressure on the hospital system.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath made the decision to allow hospital and health services (HHS) themselves to decide whether to proceed with elective surgeries – unlike in 2020 and 2021 when all elective surgeries were suspended.

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“There’s no decision to have any state-wide suspension. We’re allowing the local hospitals to manage that based on their own demands and pressures,” she said.

Metro North Health – overlooking Royal Brisbane Hospital and Prince Charles Hospital - confirmed to the Brisbane Times it had suspended all elective surgery because of pandemic pressures.

Gold Coast HHS has also cancelled non-urgent surgeries and some routine outpatient services also because of pandemic pressures.

It is not confirmed whether Metro South HHS, encompassing the Princess Alexandra and Logan hospitals, has or will suspend elective surgeries.

However, the HHS said in a statement, “demand for all health services fluctuates from day to day, so elective procedures are planned and postponed in light of surges in demand at each facility with load sharing in place across the MSH cohort.”

Confirmed also to the Brisbane Times, Townsville HHS, Sunshine Coast, West Moreton and Cairns and Hinterland health services will continue with elective surgeries.

Currently, 1,200 hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19, flu, and long-stay patients which is set to increase with government modelling indicating more than 1,000 beds will be taken by COVID-19 patients in late July, early August.

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8 July 2022

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