A three-month-old baby has had her critical heart surgery scheduled and canceled four times in the past two weeks.
Amelia Rehn was born with congenital heart failure in Melbourne and first underwent surgery to implant a stent at just two days old.
Her weary parents, Brad and Jessica, are from Tasmania and couldn’t bring their baby girl home as she needs another surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital to give Amelia a bigger stent.
“We are tired and exhausted and we have nothing left in the tank,” Jessica told 9News.
“We are waiting day by day and waiting to see when we can return home.”
At the end of March, 89,000 people were waiting for elective and critical surgery in Victoria.
Baby Amelia joined them.
“There aren’t enough beds and the system is down and there’s no room,” Jessica said.
“It’s awful, she’s sick enough to be in hospital but not sick enough to need emergency surgery.”
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the state was past the peak of BA.4 and BA.5 waves.
But the current backlog of surgeries is due to the thousands of healthcare workers sick with COVID-19.
“I understand the relief, but the pressures on the healthcare system will remain for some time,” Sutton said.
COVID-19 subvariants and mutations
Half of the 773 Victorians hospitalized with COVID are over 75 and nearly one in 10 new cases have already been infected.
Sutton said vulnerable people should focus on wearing masks and getting their third and fourth COVID-19 vaccines.