Elective surgery at risk during COVID-19 third wave

Last updated on Tue, 16th Feb 2021

With record numbers of COVID-19 positive people currently in hospital, the HSE in Ireland is taking over some of the capacity of private hospitals.

It’s expected that around 25% of capacity in private hospitals will be controlled by the HSE for a period of about 12 months. That’s going to reduce the capacity for elective surgery to be performed, which could well impact upon those waiting for bariatric surgery.

My own surgery was initially pencilled in for March 2020, but when the first COVID-19 wave hit Ireland, the entire capacity of private hospitals was taken over for 3 months. All private treatment stopped, and it took until August for my surgery to be re-scheduled.

Hopefully this time around the impact will be less, as the HSE is only taking part of the capacity, and so private treatment can continue albeit at a reduced rate. However the concern is that urgent surgeries (such as cancer treatments) might take priority over bariatric cases.

So for now, bariatric surgery patients have an anxious wait to see if their upcoming surgery date is going to get cancelled or postponed.

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