Key messages

  • Policies and resources are available to enhance Victoria’s surgical services.
  • The Elective surgery access policy helps hospital and health services to manage elective surgery patients.
  • The Elective Surgery Access Service provides a system for transferring patients from services that are unable to treat them, to services that can.
  • An information brochure is available to give to patients.

Policies and resources are available to guide and assist health services, hospitals and clinicians to improve Victoria’s surgical services

Elective surgery access policy

Victoria's Elective surgery access policy (ESAP) 2015 provides business rules around the management of access to elective surgery services in Victorian public health services.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Aesthetic procedures and indications for surgery in Victorian public health services

Appendix 2: Victorian recommended guide on the assignment of clinical urgency categories

Appendix 3: Elective surgery pathway and timeframes

Appendix 4: Summary of appropriate notification methods 

National elective surgery urgency categorisation guideline - April 2015

Referring specialist medical practitioners should consult the national categorisation document for guidance about procedures not listed in the Victorian recommended guide on the assignment of clinical urgency categories. 

National elective surgery urgency categorisation guideline - April 2015

Templates for written communication with patients

The following plain language templates are available to assist health services to implement the policy and communicate with patients: 

Understanding the elective surgery waiting list

You are now on the elective surgery waiting list and ready for surgery

You are now on the elective surgery waiting list but are not ready for surgery for clinical reasons

You are now on the elective surgery waiting list but are not ready for surgery for personal reasons

We have changed the clinical urgency category for your elective surgery

We have changed your elective surgery status to 'not ready for surgery - deferred for personal reasons

We have changed your elective surgery status to 'not ready for surgery - pending improvement of clinical condition

We have scheduled your elective surgery

We have had to reschedule your surgery

We have had to postpone your surgery

We have removed your name from the elective surgery waiting list

We are updating our records for the elective surgery waiting list

Watters Review

Former Royal Australasian College of Surgeons President, Professor David Watters AM OBE has handed down his review on private practice arrangements in our public health services. Importantly, Professor Watters found no evidence of private patients being consistently prioritised over public patients in Victorian public health services. 

The department is grateful to Professor Watters and the health services that participated in the review. The Executive Summary of the Watters Review (PDF) is publicly available here. 

Release of the Watters Review fulfils the Victorian Government’s commitment to the recommendation in the Victorian Auditor General’s report into Managing Private Medical Practice in Public Hospitals for the Department of Health to ‘evaluate private practice arrangements to measure and monitor the benefits and share results with health services to inform their practice’. 

Elective Surgery Access Service

The Elective Surgery Access Service (ESAS) provides a streamlined system for transferring elective surgery patients from health services that are unable to treat them within clinically appropriate timeframes, to health services with the capacity to offer rapid treatment.

Elective Surgery Access Service business rules should be read in conjunction with Elective surgery access policy 2015.

Patient brochure

A brochure called What do I need to know about my elective surgery? has been prepared to provide patients with information about elective surgery.