Statement On Austin Health Surgery

What has occurred at the Austin Hospital falls well short of the high standards patients deserve.

That’s why I have directed Safer Care Victoria to conduct a full review into the recent surgical cancellations at the Austin Hospital.

While these cancellations have been precautionary to ensure the highest standards of patient care, clearly they are not good enough.

I have also directed the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure the highest priority patients awaiting surgery are immediately moved to the private health system, with the costs of their procedures to be covered by the Government.

Some of these surgeries have already been rescheduled or completed. Emergency surgeries and the most time-critical elective surgeries have continued uninterrupted.

Clinical experts have advised me that the risk of patient safety being compromised at the Austin Hospital is negligible, the review will nonetheless determine whether there has been any risk to patients.

The Andrews Labor Government has provided Austin Health $727.2 million as part of its operational funding budget this year – a 30.6 per cent increase since the previous Coalition government.