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Victoria cancels elective surgery amid COVID surge

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Elective surgery across Victoria is on hold as the public health system braces itself for an influx of COVID-19 hospitalisations.

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Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed public hospitals will from Thursday only be performing urgent category one and two surgeries.

It comes as the state recruits up to 1000 healthcare workers from outside Australia.

“As COVID cases increase … we will be progressively seeking to switch off elements of non-urgent care,” Foley said.

The numbers of Victorians in hospital with COVID-19 keeps rising, with 675 patients on Monday, of whom 144 are in ICU including 100 on ventilators.

The government will inject $255 million into creating a new hospital surge support allowance for healthcare workers treating COVID-positive patients.

The allowance would provide up to $60 per shift for the next four months, and would kick in from this week.

On top of that spending, there will also be another $2.5 million to recruit up to 1000 international healthcare workers.

Since recording 1965 cases on Saturday, the state’s daily numbers have trended down, with another 1466 infections on Tuesday.

-with AAP

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