TWO Mornington Peninsula hospitals are preparing for a spike in COVID-19 cases over the next few weeks.
Acting on instructions from the state government restrictions were placed on elective surgery from Friday 1 October, and beds were set aside to treat pandemic patients.
Ramsay Health Care’s chief nurse and clinical services director Dr Bernadette Eather said elective procedures at the company’s hospitals, including Beleura Private, were being reduced.
“As was the case last year when elective surgery was reduced, [we] are ready and willing to assist with the state’s pandemic response.”
Dr Eather said Ramsay Health was “not currently treating any COVID-19 patients in our Victorian hospitals”.
“We have a comprehensive pandemic management plan in place at all our sites, which includes appropriate processes and policies to manage any COVID-19 outbreaks in the community,” she said.
Peninsula Health chief operating officer Helen Cooper said she was “absolutely aware of the potential for a spike of COVID-19 cases on the peninsula” but was confident its hospitals at Frankston and Rosebud had enough surge capacity and suitable areas reserved for treating patients if a spike eventuated.
Ms Cooper said modelling suggested a “different type” of patient and possibly higher numbers than were treated at the peak of last year’s pandemic. This was because the more virulent Delta strain was being picked up by younger people rather than the elderly and those in age-care.
“We have a significant number of places we can surge to,” she said. “We will be able to work it out.”
Ms Cooper said the Frankston and Rosebud hospitals “had the luxury” of not being inundated by the high numbers of patients seen by their northern and western suburbs counterparts.
“Our staff are well prepared and trained for this,” she said.
Four COVID-19 patients were being treated at Frankston Hospital last week.