Victoria hospitals brace for Covid influx

Elective surgery is on hold across Victoria as the public health system braces itself for an influx of Covid-19 patients.

Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed public hospitals will from Thursday only be performing urgent category one and two surgeries.

It comes as the state recruits seeks to recruit up to 1000 healthcare workers from outside Australia.

"As Covid cases increase ... we will be progressively seeking to switch off elements of non-urgent care," Mr Foley said.

The numbers of Victorians in hospital with Covid-19 continues to rise. Some 675 people are currently in care, with 144 are in intensive care units and 100 on ventilators.

The government has earmarked $255 million for a new hospital surge support allowance for healthcare workers treating infected patients.

The allowance of up to $60 per shift for the next four months begins from this week.

The government will also spend another $2.5 million to recruit up to 1000 international healthcare workers, and expects 60 per cent of those recruits will be Australians already working overseas.

Victoria recorded 1466 infections on Tuesday.

Four men and four women died, bringing the toll from the current outbreak to 101.

Almost 60 percent of Victorians aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated (59.8 percent), while 86.7 percent have received one Covid-19 vaccine dose.


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