RESTRICTIONS EASE | ELECTIVE SURGERIES TO BEGIN AGAIN

Level two elective surgeries, including IVF and joint replacement surgery, will begin again as the Federal Government begins the early stages of lifting coronavirus restrictions.

Prime minister Scott Morrison made the announcement in a press conference in Canberra today.

The procedures that will return include eye procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopies and post-cancer procedures such as breast reconstructions.

Dental procedures such as fitting dentures and braces have also been allowed to return.

Priority will be given to the most needy patients first, based on surgical advice of the medical facility where elective surgery is scheduled.

It’s been nearly a month since the Federal Government first banned non-elective procedures in a bid to free up protective gear for health workers.

The Prime Minister today said the lifting of restrictions was an important first step out of lockdown.

“There is a road ahead and the decisions that the National Cabinet has taken today is evidence of that,” Mr Morrison said.

“This would not be possible if we were unable to secure additional PPE nor would it be possible if we were not able to have confidence about the level of contact, of cases that had been identified in Australia and the slowing the rate of growth down to a minimal level.”

Elective procedures will gradually begin restarting after the Anzac Day weekend.

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Samantha Poate is a reporter, producer and web producer for NBN News in Newcastle. After completing a BA in Communication and Journalism at Charles Sturt University in 2016, Samantha moved to Northern New South Wales where she worked for News Corp. Samantha joined the NBN News team in 2018, working as a journalist in the Lismore Bureau.