The local health district has welcomed the NSW Government's announcement to fast-track elective surgery in public hospitals, despite recording strong on-time procedures for urgent elective procedures.
In response to the Omicron outbreak, non-urgent elective surgery requiring an overnight stay was suspended from January 10 across NSW and resumed in a staged manner in February.
There will be an extra $408 million in the 2022-23 Budget to speed up procedures.
The South East Sydney Local Health District, which covers St George and Sutherland hospitals, has not experienced a major backlog of urgent elective surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as both hospitals have performed near or on time, a spokeswoman said.
During January to March, 1065 elective surgery procedures were performed at St George Hospital and 358 at Sutherland.
The local health district spokeswoman said almost all urgent elective surgeries (98.9 per cent) were performed within the clinically recommended time frame at St George, and 100 per cent on time at Sutherland.
"Our staff have worked exceptionally hard to ensure high quality and safe care was continually provided to the community, despite the district facing a very challenging period as it responded to the peak of the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak," she said.
"The huge number of COVID-19 cases in the community not only presented serious challenges with respect to complex presentations and admissions to our hospitals, but also due to significant staff unavailability as staff contracted or were exposed to the virus, whether in the community or at work."
The elective surgeries with the longer wait lists at St George Hospital include Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), General Plastic Surgery and General Surgery. At Sutherland, ENT, Gynaecology and General Surgery.
"Priority for elective surgery will be given in accordance with clinical urgency, waiting times and previous cancellations," the spokeswoman said.
Oatley MP Mark Coure said there were some unfortunate delays.
"This investment will help to bring forward these delayed surgeries, ensuring that patients get seen sooner and experience shortened wait times." Mr Coure said.
"I want to thank the community for its patience during this difficult time and also extend my special thanks to the staff at St George Hospital for all of their hard work throughout the past two years."
A record 10,148 full-time equivalent staff will be recruited to hospitals and health services across NSW across four years.
In 2020-21 the NSW Government provided an extra $458.5 million to fast-track elective surgeries and $80 million was provided as part of the 2021-22 NSW Budget.
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