Treatments and services

What is the TAC’s position on elective surgery?

The TAC is following the Federal Government’s advice that non urgent elective surgery will be temporarily suspended.

Treating physicians and surgeons are responsible for deciding what they consider to be urgent and appropriate for their patient. They should use the following guidelines when making decisions:

  • The risk and benefits to hospital resources and of patients contracting or transmitting COVID-19. Factors such as age, medical comorbidities (diabetes, obesity and smoking, cardio-respiratory function), immune status and opioid consumption should be taken into account. A fully informed consent process must be completed.
  • Shared decision-making processes should be used when considering each individual case. The distinction between urgent and non-urgent Category 2 surgery may not always be simple. If there continues to be uncertainty, surgery should be postponed
  • Consider if the procedure will avoid dangerous deterioration of function, both physically and emotionally, or repeated emergency department or hospital admissions. Deterioration of physical function might include severe restriction of activities of daily living to the extent that the patient could not manage their symptoms for a further 3 to 6 months.

The treating physicians and surgeons, and the hospital providing the treatment, are responsible for adhering to the government regulations and informing their patient about the status of their surgical procedure.

Will the TAC provide an extension for a client’s certificate of capacity?

Yes, we may provide a brief extension to the due date of a client’s certificate of capacity based on their individual circumstances. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis and clients should contact us to discuss their situation.

As per our current policy, we may consider paying LOE or LOEC payments without a certificate of capacity in exceptional circumstances, or where there is verbal confirmation from a treating doctor, followed up with a certificate of capacity.

Due to the coronavirus situation, the TAC will fund temporary telehealth items for services provided by medical specialists, such as GPs, consulting physicians and psychiatrists. Payment will be made at the MBS rate.