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‘People will die’: Westmead Hospital moves all heart surgeries

Article image for ‘People will die’: Westmead Hospital moves all heart surgeries

All cardiac surgeries have been moved from Westmead Hospital in preparation for an influx of coronavirus patients, according to a hospital whistleblower.

The Ray Hadley Morning Show understands there was no notice was given to surgeons at Westmead Public Hospital, with up to 20 surgeries a week to be impacted.

A source within the hospital says a plan has been put in place to fund cases at private hospitals but there was no discussion with the cardiac surgeons about the private hospital capacity or the complexity of cases.

Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Graeme Loy says in a statement, “We have engaged the Westmead Private Hospital to perform some cases of planned cardiac surgery to ensure we have intensive care capacity for any COVID-19 patients.” (See full statement below)

Ray Hadley says Health Minister Brad Hazzard needs to address this.

“The simple message given to me by people inside Westmead Hospital, this decision… means people on the waiting list will die. People will die.

“Now I know we have a problem with the coronavirus but we are talking about the major operating public hospital.”

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35-year-old caller Clarry tells Ray he’s had his surgery cancelled with no explanation or rescheduled date.

“It’s obviously affected my work life, I’m an avid football player, I’ve got four young children and I can’t function properly in the community.”

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Full comment:

“Cardiac surgeries are not being cancelled at Westmead Hospital.

“Westmead Hospital has plans underway to manage expected increased patient demand in response to COVID-19.

“We have engaged the Westmead Private Hospital to perform some cases of planned cardiac surgery to ensure we have intensive care capacity for any COVID-19 patients. 

“Yesterday, two patients received surgery at Westmead Private Hospital and they are recovering well. A further eight patients will have their surgery at the facility in the coming days.

“Today, Westmead Hospital will conduct cardiac surgery on two patients due to the complexity of their cases.  

“Utilisation of services in conjunction with private partners occurs routinely across NSW Health each year.

“Westmead Hospital is a designated centre for the management of infectious diseases and regular planning is conducted in preparation for the management of public health outbreaks like COVID-19.

“Frequent planning with nursing, infectious diseases, intensive care and emergency department staff ensures capacity for the management of COVID-19 patients is constantly monitored.”

 

Image: Google Maps

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