Hospitals told to consider delaying surgery for older and overweight people

Health care investigations, treatment and surgery have always had to be prioritised and limited do to demand outstripping resources, but this will raise a few eyebrows: Hospitals urged to consider putting off some surgery

Hospitals are being told to consider putting off surgery for seriously overweight people and those over 70 unless it is urgent.

A memo from the Ministry of Health to district health boards has outlined how they should manage getting normal services up and running again with the risk of Covid-19 still looming.

It said deferring treatment should be considered for people over 70, those with a body mass index over 40, or those with other conditions including heart, lung or kidney disease.

That is because if they contracted Covid-19 they had a higher risk of death.

But if they urgently need treatment, they should get it, the memo said.

I don’t know why people who are at higher risk from Covid are being put on a lower priority. At this stage the risks of anyone getting Covid look very low.

There has to be prioritising as they crank up normal health care again, there always is, but putting people down the list due to the (low) possibility of catching a specific virus looks dicey to me.

Why not include influenza as well? Anyone with a greater chance than normal of having any sort of lung or heart problems?