For Medical specialists and VMOs

Further to the Federal government’s announcement, Epworth is pleased to confirm a staged return of elective surgery in Victoria from Monday, 27 April 2020. This will enable our private patients who need the most care to have the opportunity to access the treatment they require.

In addition to urgent activity currently underway, Epworth medical practitioners may also now undertake additional cases (dependent on capacity and clinical priority) in the following areas:

  • IVF
  • screening programs (cancer and other diseases)
  • post cancer reconstruction procedures (such as breast reconstruction)
  • procedures for children under 18 years of age
  • joint replacements (including knees, hips, shoulders)
  • cataracts and eye procedures
  • endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures

Where capacity allows, the DHHS will also permit:

  • procedures that represent low risk, high value care as determined by specialist societies
  • the selection of patients who are at low risk of post-operative deterioration
  • critical dental procedures

Cosmetic or other procedures not addressing significant medical conditions cannot be undertaken.

Every patient waiting for elective surgery must be assessed by their treating medical professional as Category 1, 2 or 3, according to the definitions outlined on the Epworth intranet. The principle of assessing each case based on clinical priority will continue, to ensure patients with the most urgent requirements are prioritised.

The relevant Clinical Institute Director or Director of Medical Services is available to discuss with medical practitioners any cases with special circumstances or to assist with the above guidelines.


For the next two weeks, medical practitioners who usually work across multiple Epworth sites will be asked to work at one site only. This is to ensure appropriate management of capped requirements and an equitable access to theatres.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Please refer and adhere to the latest PPE Information. We will be monitoring stock levels daily.

Patient screening

To ensure the safety of patients, doctors and staff, screening processes for patients will continue, including pre-admission screening, and again, on presentation to hospital.

Please see our screening requirements so you can inform your patients of the screening questions.

Elective surgery update

Please find information for patients about surgery, screening and questions they may be asked (PDF, 53KB).