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Spotlight on non-urgent elective procedures

Published 06/04/2022

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Best Care Guidance is helping patients and clinicians make shared decisions about non-urgent, and, in some cases, unnecessary elective surgeries.

Beginning with a list of 26 low value elective surgeries in February 2021, our Best Care Guidance project brings together clinicians and consumers to review the clinical evidence, individual risks and benefits of each procedure.

They also considered the health outcomes which matter to the consumer and the alternative care options which are available.

New guidelines are being released to help educate and empower Victorians by providing facts about the risks associated with particular surgeries and alternatives to surgery.

The guidelines will help clinicians, from primary healthcare to acute healthcare services, prioritise higher-value surgical options to ensure the best possible outcomes of care for all Victorians.

After National Cabinet temporarily suspended all non-urgent elective surgery in order to conserve resources during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, health services needed to prioritise patients who faced extended waiting times for their procedures.

Our Best Care guidance provides high-quality, evidence-based information to the Victorian healthcare sector and consumers about specific elective surgical procedures which should only be considered under certain circumstances or at certain time intervals.  View the Best Care guidance procedures.

These procedures may still be performed where the consumer's healthcare needs meet certain indications for surgery (as identified in the guidance) or if an exemption has been sought to perform the procedure at a local health service level.

In late 2021 and early 2022 we have added several new procedures to the list of low-value surgical procedures.

The Best Care project is continuing to collaborate with consumers, clinicians and health services to review the evidence, assess the risks and benefits of each procedure. Further guidance will be released throughout 2022.

Read about patient information on the Better Health Channel.

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