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Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

New Jersey lifting ban on elective surgeries

By Nikita Biryukov, May 15 2020 3:36 pm

New Jersey’s ban on elective surgeries will be rescinded on May 26, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday.

“Allowing for these procedures to resume is a big step forward for public health, and we’re able to do this on May 26th because the data we receive daily from within our hospitals says we can,” Murphy said. “We know this will also be good for our healthcare systems and the process of serving the many health needs of their residents.”

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli and her department will issue guidance on elective surgeries on or before May 18, giving hospitals more than a week to prepare to reopen a profit center whose absence has threatened the financial viabilities of some health systems in the state.

That binding guidance will detail the conditions under which such surgeries can resume.

“To be sure, this guidance will take into account the need for protecting all patients from COVID-19, for providing PPE to staff, for prioritizing procedures and for allowing visitors among other critical considerations,” Murphy said.

The ban on elective surgeries stopped more than elective cosmetic procedures.

Murphy said the ban would have prevented him from undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his left Kidney had it happened much later in March.

“They have been waging a heroic war against COVID-19. It’s been all hands on deck and all resources at the ready,” Murphy said, referring to health care workers. “Now, they can look to resume the other critical roles they play in ensuring the health of the communities they serve.”

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