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About 100 hospital beds on standby in case COVID-19 outbreak worsens

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Article image for About 100 hospital beds on standby in case COVID-19 outbreak worsens

The Victorian government has clarified a tip suggesting between 150 and 200 beds at major hospitals such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Box Hill Hospital have been closed to general patients in case the outbreak worsens.

A government spokesperson says about 100 beds have been identified across the public health system, which could be made available to COVID-19 patients within 24 hours if needed.

The beds have not been vacated at present.

“They will only be used if required, which is currently not the case,” a government spokesperson said.

“While not treating infected patients, these beds will continue to be used for the rest of the community.”

Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Roderick McRae said it’s “a wise precaution”.

“One of the key things … is do not blow out the public health system,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“It’s prudent to plan ahead.

“I think that’s a very wise precaution to set aside about that number.”

There are currently three people in hospital with COVID-19 in Victoria.

Press PLAY below to hear more from Victoria’s AMA boss

FULL STATEMENT FROM A STATE GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON:

A small number of health services have been selected to manage the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients in Victoria. These health services are all based in Melbourne, reflecting the concentration of cases.
Centralising the care of COVID-19 patients to select services will reduce the exposure of the community, patients and healthcare workers, it will also minimise the disruption of non-COVID care within the health system, such as elective surgery and outpatient service delivery.
The department is working closely with health services and has identified around 100 beds across the system than could be made available within 24 hours. They will only be used if required, which is currently not the case.
While not treating infected patients, these beds will continue to be used for the rest of the community.
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