The Victorian Government has paused all Category 3 elective surgery in Metro Melbourne to ensure hospitals have capacity to manage the second wave of COVID-19.
Elective surgery will be reduced to no more than 50 per cent of activity across all public hospitals and 75 per cent in private hospitals. This means that private hospitals will continue to perform Category 1 (treatment within 30 days) and urgent Category 2 (treatment within 90 days) surgery.
At this stage, there are no changes to elective surgery in regional Victoria.
WHAT IF I HAVE A SURGERY BOOKED IN VICTORIA?
St.LukesHealth suggests you contact your surgeon or specialist to find out if your treatment has been postponed to a later date.
The scheduling of elective surgery will be subject to the COVID-19 restrictions in each state or territory and hospitals will work with medical specialists to determine their patient list.
We have been assured by our private hospital partners that when they do return to “normal” working conditions, they will have capacity to offer shorter waiting periods for privately insured patients.
This is great news considering the expected increase in the already ballooning public waiting list.
If you are travelling interstate to receive treatment in Victoria, we also ask that you make yourself aware of the COVID-19 travel restrictions and conditions in place within your jurisdiction.
CAN I STILL USE MY EXTRAS?
St.LukesHealth is of the understanding that you can still access health services covered under your Extras product, however it is best to contact your provider for more information.
The Australian Dental Association of Victoria is reinforcing its advice to all dental practices in metropolitan Melbourne and the Shire of Mitchell to operate at Level 2 dental restrictions to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. This includes things like examinations, simple non-invasive fillings and non-surgical extractions. While there are small increases in parts of regional Victoria, Level 1 dental restrictions remain in place for these area and dentists are continuing to monitor their area to ensure they are taking appropriate steps to minimise risk. Level 1 means that dental professionals must continue to screen patients and only treat those who do not meet the epidemiological and clinical risk factors for COVID-19.
St.LukesHealth now offers telehealth services for nine modalities including clinical psychology, counselling, physiotherapy, osteopathy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, diabetes education and eye therapy where clinically appropriate to ensure that you can continue to access health treatment.
If you need access to emergency care, this is still available for you.
CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCE
We understand that COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our members lives.
For some individuals and families, we know the support mechanisms we have put in place may not be enough. If you are in this position, we urge you to contact us to discuss a range of options that may be available to you, including hardship suspensions.
You can do this by calling our Customer Care Team on 1300 651 988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org