Elective surgery levels in Tasmania are continuing to be lifted in line with staged principles agreed by national cabinet, Health Minister Sarah Courtney has confirmed.
Restrictions on all non-urgent surgeries were lifted last month, after being put on hold nationally with the exception of category 1 and the most urgent category 2.
The decision was aimed at freeing up beds and health workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and to save resources including personal protective equipment.
The latest Health Dashboard statistics, current until the end of December, shows Tasmania's waiting list for elective surgery has risen to 11,110.
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This includes 754 category 1 patients, 4130 category 2 and 6226 category 3.
Ms Courtney said initial increases had seen the Royal Hobart Hospital delivering additional theatre sessions, with some surgeries outsourced to private hospitals.
"First of all, I'd like to acknowledge and thank the many Tasmanians and their families who have been impacted by this forced elective surgery shutdown period," she said.
"Having surgery at any point in your life can be an extremely stressful period, let alone being told you have to wait longer."
Ms Courtney said the Health Department was working closely with the Statewide Surgical Committee to ensure services were gradually increased in the "safest possible way" across the state.
"We are focused on striking the right balance between increasing service levels and ensuring we are able to meet the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, including considerations around the use of pharmaceuticals, ventilators, PPE and other stocks," she said.
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