Changes to our services

We have made changes to some of our services in response to COVID-19.

Surgery

Changes to elective surgery

The State Government has announcement the suspension of all elective surgeries, with the exception of category one and the most urgent emergency surgeries and procedures.

The suspensions will apply to public and private hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, which are under stage three restrictions.

If you have any questions about your procedure, or would like further information about whether these changes impact you, please contact us via the phone number listed on your admission information, or call 9594 6666.

COVID-19 testing prior to elective and emergency surgery

As part of updated Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, all elective surgery patients living or working within Restriction 3 areas and who are undergoing a General Anaesthetic (GA) will now need to be swab tested for COVID-19 and confirmed negative prior to their procedure.

This applies to all patients, of all ages, including:

  • Maternity patients
  • Patients undergoing Diagnostic Imaging procedures requiring a GA
  • Patients undergoing Cardiac Interventional procedures requiring or at risk of requiring a GA
  • Bronchoscopy patients

Why the change?

As with any respiratory illness, there may be an increased risk of complications to a COVID-19 positive patient undergoing a GA. If possible, elective procedures shouldn’t be performed without knowing the COVID-19 status of the patient. This is to allow the treating team to plan effectively and ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our patients, employees and community.

What do I need to do?

You will be contacted by Monash Health COVID screening team four or five days prior to your planned procedure to conduct a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. You will be asked to then attend a Monash Health COVID-19 screening clinic, three or four days prior to admission to complete the swab test.

If you decide to have your swab taken at a non-Monash Health facility, please be aware that the result may not be processed in time for the procedure which may result in you having your surgery or procedure re-scheduled.  If you are unwilling to undergo a swab test your surgery will be deferred or re-scheduled.

Please call us to confirm where you have had the swab test and bring validation of your negative swab result when you present for admission. This is a mandatory requirement and the admission cannot proceed without the COVID screening result.

Following testing, you will be required to self-isolate until your admission into hospital. This means you must:

  • Remain at your place of residence
  • Do not leave except to seek medical help or in an emergency. If you do need to go outside (or while in common areas of your apartment block) please remember to wear a face mask/covering.
  • Do not go to work, school or public areas, or use public transport, taxi or rideshare
  • Do not allow other people into your place of residence if they don’t live there
  • Avoid sharing household items and do not share dishes, glasses, cups, bedding or other items with people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available and your hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay 1.5m from others in the home.

Please ensure members of your household, within Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, are following Stage Three guidelines.

Emergency surgery patients

We are committed to delivering the best care when and where it’s needed. As per Department of Health and Human Services protocol, emergency patients requiring surgery or an emergency intervention will undergo COVID-19 swab testing in the Emergency Department immediately prior to their procedure. In some cases, this swab may also be taken on the ward area by the surgical team.  You may also have to answer the COVID-19 screening questionnaire again nearer to the time of your surgery.  We have strict and robust procedures in place to ensure the safe and timely care of emergency surgery patients with or without COVID-19 symptoms.

Where do I get more information?

For further information or questions about your admission, please contact us on the number listed on your booking letter, or via switchboard on 9594 6666.

For information about testing sites, visit our coronavirus testing locations section.

For information about how the above relates to children, please see the advice for parents/guardians factsheet (via DHHS).

Aboriginal Health

The Victorian Government has advised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible to keep well.

Monash Health’s Aboriginal Health Service is here to help during this time. Our services include hospital support, welfare checks and cultural support. Contact our Aboriginal Health Service via email ahs@monashhealth.org or phone 0418 503 643.

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has created coronavirus information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

The Victorian Government has produced resources to help support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

BCG Clinic

To protect young children and vulnerable patients during the COVID-19 response, our BCG vaccination clinics have been temporarily put on hold.

Maternity

We’ve developed an extensive range of FAQs about coronavirus and pregnancy to keep you informed during this time. If you are worried or have any questions, we encourage you to speak to your pregnancy care team.

Additional information for health professionals and GPs

If you are a health professional or GP looking for information about COVID-19, please visit COVID-19 information for health professionals and GPs.

Get the latest information about coronavirus (COVID-19).Find out more
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