Emergency & essential surgery is being prioritised

Update on the issue we have with our surgical washers

Since Wednesday last week we've been dealing with an issue with our surgical washers which has been impacting our capacity to perform surgery.

I wanted to provide you with a further update as it's important that you are kept informed of this issue.

Currently five of our seven washers are functioning and we're progressively bringing them up to full capacity. We're continuing to work on the other two machines.

We've ordered two mobile surgical washers that will be delivered today. These will be installed and operating on Monday next week. We continue to receive support from the Mercy who have been washing our equipment over the past few days.

We've also placed an order for new surgical equipment which will start arriving next week. As we build capacity, we'll increase the number of surgeries that we perform at Austin Health.

Unfortunately, as a result of this issue we've had to cancel all non-essential elective surgery. So far, we've cancelled 300 procedures and we're expecting to cancel a further 200 next week. We know this will be distressing to some of our patients, and we're doing everything we can to support them during this time.

We're currently reviewing our category 1 patients and working with other health services to ensure patients have their procedure scheduled within the 30-day period.

Again, I want to thank the many people who are working hard to resolve this issue - your efforts are greatly appreciated. Anyone who needs support is encouraged to call our employee assistance program on 1300 360 364.

If you have any questions, please email internalenquiries@austin.org.au.

All patient enquiries are to be directed through to the Consumer Engagement Office on 9496 3566 or email feedback@austin.org.au.

Shelley Castree-Croad
Acting CEO