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Angry doctors ‘gutted, confused’ by government’s elective surgery backflip

One of the health sector’s most powerful bodies says the lives of health care workers are being compromised for commercial interests after it was announced non-urgent elective surgeries will continue to be performed by private hospitals for another week.

The decision came after the National Cabinet decided to extend the deadline of suspending the surgeries until April 1.

Australian and New Zealand College of Anesthetists president Dr Rod Mitchell told Ross and John it’s “disappointing” and putting medical staff at risk.

“Let’s be clear: Doctors and nurses are going to die in the weeks and months ahead, and this toll will be higher if we run out of PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies,” he said.

“Our PPE supplies are very uncertain and we need to preserve them

“We need strong leadership that’s going to stand up to commercial interests and put safety ahead of profits.

“I’m having phone calls from colleagues who are working hard and who are so gutted, because the message from the government now seems to be commercial interests will be brought to bear.”

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