Elective surgery impacted

The Mount Gambier Hospital’s non-urgent elective surgery has been impacted due to a shortage of beds.

In recent days non-urgent elective surgery was temporarily suspended after the hospital experienced a high level of patient demand due to COVID-19 and influenza as well as staffing shortages.

An extreme “Alert White” was called last week when bed demand outweighed capacity.

Limestone Coast Local Health Network executive director of medical services Dr Elaine Pretorius has spoken in the public domain about the challenges.

Dr Pretorius said a circuit breaker was needed with postponement of some non-urgent surgeries being one of the strategies.

She said it was possible some Mount Gambier patients with less acute needs could be transferred to hospitals at Millicent and Naracoorte.

According to Dr Pretorius, Millicent Hospital was experiencing severe staff shortages.

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