Healthscope urges Victorians to look after their health during renewed COVID lockdown

Private hospital operator Healthscope is urging Victorians not to neglect their health, as much of the state is again placed under Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Healthscope Chief Medical Officer Dr Victoria Atkinson said that when Stage 3 restrictions were in place during April and May, hospitals noted a marked drop-off in people seeking urgent medical advice and treatment.

 

“This was a concerning trend and one we want to avoid as we again face Stage 3 restrictions,” Dr Atkinson said.

 

“During April and May, we saw Emergency Department admissions fall by 20 per cent. And most concerning, cardiology admissions were down by as much as 40 per cent, meaning people were ignoring potentially dangerous chest pain symptoms.”

 

Dr Atkinson said that the April/May trend was due to people either not wanting to be burden on the health system during the COVID-19 pandemic, or having concerns about coming to hospital. Dr Atkinson said that, while understandable, neither were reasons to ignore or postpone seeking medical attention for what may be a critical undiagnosed health issue.

 

“All too often we see individuals present at our emergency departments with a complaint that, had it been ignored, might have led to serious longer-term repercussions.

 

“The government and health advice is very clear – the current restrictions do not and should not prevent people from seeking medical care.”

Dr Atkinson said Healthscope’s hospitals have all implemented a range of measures to protect the health and safety of patients, staff and doctors.

 

“All our sites are operating with strict social distancing and hygiene protocols in place. We have again tightened our visitor policy to minimise traffic into our hospitals. And in line with Government advice, we are now providing all visitors with masks.”

 

“As an added protection for patients, staff and doctors, all patients are being screened for COVID-19 before being admitted to hospital.”

 

Dr Atkinson said that, following the reinstatement of Stage 3 restrictions, some patients had been unsure if their scheduled surgery would be proceeding. Dr Atkinson confirmed that all elective surgery is continuing as normal across Healthscope hospitals.

 

Background

Healthscope is Australia’s only national private healthcare provider, operating 43 hospitals across the country, and employing over 18,000 people. Healthscope offers world-class patient care, including medical and surgical services, mental health treatment and rehabilitation services

 

13 July 2020.