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Victorians waiting for elective surgery demand answers over resumption date

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Victorians waiting for elective surgery demand answers over resumption date

Sick Victorians are demanding answers on when elective surgery can resume in the state.

Surgery has been scaled back significantly in Victoria for months now to ensure there is enough capacity in the hospital system in the event of a COVID-19 surge.

But Neil Mitchell has spoken with several surgeons, many of whom said they have “nothing to do” at work because of the shutdown.

One said he was playing golf to fill the time.

“I can understand why you’d want to leave some fat in the system to deal with a COVID surge, if it comes, but it is not being well managed,” Neil Mitchell said.

“We have empty operating theatres, surgeons doing nothing, and people suffering.”

Frank, 31, was diagnosed with diverticular disease in July and had part of his bowel removed.

He’s been wearing a colostomy bag for the last few months but is able to have surgery now his issue has healed and the bag removed.

But it’s classed as elective surgery.

“It’s important to say there are people in worse positions than waiting for what I’m waiting for, but that being said, the society we live and the hospitals and surgeons we’ve got … we should be able to put a date on it,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“All I’m really after is a date.”

Frank said he was unable to live life fully with the bag attached, admitting he was unnerved about attending a friend’s father’s funeral recently because of the issue.

He has contacted the hospital and surgeons, who’ve told him they’re also still in the dark about when elective surgery can resume.

Daniel Andrews said the situation was deeply “regretful” but would not be drawn yet on a date for resumption.

“We will get it back to full tilt as quickly as we can, as safely as we can,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear Frank’s story

Picture: Getty iStock

Neil Mitchell
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