The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is appalled by the federal government’s decision to extend the deadline for the suspension of semi-urgent category 2 and 3 elective surgeries at private hospitals to 1 April 2020.

“We are disappointed to hear that hospitals are being asked to continue non-critical surgery at a time when we must be putting the safety of patients and staff first. The federal government has made a reversal of their previously sensible decision to cancel all elective surgery except for urgent cases.

“We are seeing decision making that can only be described as putting commercial interests before patient safety. Many of our surgeons who work in private hospitals are appalled and refusing to operate on non-critical cases. We want to see leadership from the federal government that puts people’s safety first,” says RACS President Tony Sparnon.