He said the state government funding would allow public patients to be treated in private hospitals and public hospitals to perform more surgeries sooner.
Hospitals have been allowed to gradually restart the non-urgent procedures after the six-week ban, but research by the international CovidSurg project estimated Australian hospitals could face a backlog of 400,000 operations, including 25,000 cancer surgeries, as a result of the elective surgery suspensions.
With the additional funding, the government expected public and private hospitals to be at 75 per cent capacity by the end of June, with the aim of reaching 100 per cent in July.
The announcement coincides with NSW recording just three locally-acquired cases in three days. There are currently 42 COVID-19 patients being treated by NSW Health and none are in intensive care units.
The state’s public hospitals perform about 100,000 emergency procedures and 235,000 elective surgeries a year.
NSW Health will host a roundtable with representatives of the private and public health sectors within the next month to determine the best way to quickly and appropriately deliver surgeries and procedures.
All local health districts were expected to balance the need to maintain their hospitals’ COVID-19 preparedness with the return of elective surgery, and monitor their surgical lists carefully.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government’s fast response to COVID-19 has helped protect people across NSW, “and now we are boosting health funding so we can ensure elective surgeries postponed due to the pandemic are completed as soon as possible”.
Any patient whose condition changes or deteriorates should speak to their treating clinician.