COVID-19 Latest Updates

Updated: July 23, 2021

When visiting the Upper GI Surgery practice, all patients and visitors are required to sign in using the UGIS QR code and must wear a mask. Please plan to attend your appointment alone (if possible) to comply with COVID Safe regulations. For more information please visit the NSW website.


From Monday 10th of August 2020 all patients visiting Ramsay hospitals (St George Private Hospital, Wollongong Private Hospital) are required to wear a face mask. You will be asked to complete a short questionnaire to gain entry into the hospital. You can complete this online before you visit to save time, click here to complete the questionnaire. Please note, this is only valid for the day of completion and needs to be completed separately for each visit to the hospital. For more information on the hospital policies regarding COVID-19 please click here.

If you are visiting us at St Vincent’s Private Hospital you are also required to wear a face mask to enter the hospital.


From Monday 27th April 2020, as well as emergency patients, we are also allowed to perform elective:
– low risk elective surgical procedures
– endoscopy procedures

We are capped at 25% of our usual activity for two weeks, but after this time, if things go well, there will be a further loosening of restrictions.


Current status of COVID-19 on elective and emergency surgery.

As per Australian Government recommendations, in order to increase community safety and help shorten periods of lockdown we wish all our patients to:

  • Keep safe by practising social distancing and good hand hygiene.
  • Overseas and interstate travellers must observe a 14-day quarantine as must anyone who has come into contact with a COVID-19 sufferer recently.
  • People who experience any cold or flu-like symptoms must avoid public areas and hospitals and need to contact their GP or COVID-19 helpline.

A maximum of one visitor can attend any person in the hospital or visiting a medical clinic.

With regards to patients requiring surgery or endoscopy for management of their underlying conditions, the Australian Government has put limits on what we are currently allowed to treat. These restrictions will stay in place until the community spread of COVID-19 is confirmed to be low, hospitals have sufficient PPE and testing becomes more freely available. It may be many months before this happens, and longer still before a vaccine is available. Many patients will be in danger of missing out of vital healthcare over this time unless they prioritise their health and seek help.

Current restrictions for Surgery and Endoscopy are for:

  • Emergency and Category 1 patients. These are people who have presented to hospitals with conditions requiring immediate surgery (such as appendicitis), but also includes patients with cancer or other dangerous conditions that may deteriorate rapidly.
  • Some Category 2 patients. There are people who have conditions that put them at risk because they may have a rapidly progressive condition that could cause them harm in the next 3 months if treatment was delayed.

While patients who present to Emergency Departments, and people with cancer are often easy to identify there are many people with progressive conditions that may be eligible for treatment as a Category 2 patient. If you are unsure please ring for a face to face or telehealth appointment on 02 9553 1120.

From Dr Talbot and the team at Upper GI Surgery.