Please note: strict restrictions in place for visitors

Updates to elective surgery

As part of the COVID19 response, the Prime Minister has announced all category 3 and non-urgent category 2 surgery will be suspended in private hospitals from Wednesday, 1 April 2020. We understand this announcement will have a significant impact across all elective patients, including those booked to come to Epworth.

By cancelling certain elective surgeries, the National Cabinet is acting to preserve resources, including protective equipment, to help prepare public and private health services in the COVID-19 response.

Only Category 1 and some exceptional Category 2 surgery will continue at Epworth until further notice.

If a patient requires surgery, the urgency will be determined by their treating doctor as per the following Category 1, 2 or 3 definitions:

  • Category 1 – Needing treatment within 30 days. Has the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point where the patient’s situation may become an emergency.
  • Category 2 – Needing treatment within 90 days. Their condition causes pain, dysfunction or disability. Unlikely to deteriorate quickly and unlikely to become an emergency.
  • Category 3 – Needing treatment at some point in the next year. Their condition causes pain, dysfunction or disability. Unlikely to deteriorate quickly.

We are working with doctors and patients to determine appropriate individual clinical management plans. Please speak to your doctor to determine the best course of action for you.

Patients proceeding with elective surgery

  • We will continue to provide the best quality of care to patients.
  • All patients proceeding with elective admission will continue to be screened for symptoms related to COVID-19 and travel history.

If you are concerned you have COVID-19

  • If you have mild symptoms, call your GP or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
  • You may wish to attend our emergency departments at Epworth Geelong and Epworth Richmond if:
    1. You are experiencing symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, breathing difficulties or wheezing, headache or any other signs or symptoms of respiratory infection AND
    2. You have travelled overseas in the past two weeks OR
    3. You have been in contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19

Please note: COVID-19 testing will be conducted in accordance with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines.

Low risk patients and those with mild-medium symptoms may be sent home with instructions, without testing. You may be asked to self-isolate and provided with information and advice to help manage your symptoms.