Print Icon

Dear Members,


RANZCO has been monitoring the current improvement in the Australian and New Zealand COVID-19 situation. Given the reduction of COVID-19 cases in both countries and the critical importance of continuing eye care, it is recommended that the RANZCO Triage Guidelines be expired immediately. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer and Australian Medical Association's recommendation to continue medical care in Australia. It also reflects the New Zealand Ministry of Health's expectation that elective surgery re-commences. However, the following caveats need to be observed:

The Australian and New Zealand Governments have recommended that elective surgery restrictions be eased as of 27 and 28 April 2020 respectively. This is not a complete return to "business as usual", but a staged process whereby "procedures representing low risk, high value care" can recommence.

This includes emergencies, Category 1, Category 2 and important Category 3 procedures in Australia. RANZCO considers it appropriate that routine cataract surgery recommence. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has advised that hospitals will initially re-open 1 in 4 operating lists to preserve surge capacity, ration Personal Protective Equipment and ensure social distancing is maintained. 

Acknowledging that providers may have capacity constraints and resourcing issues, the New Zealand Branch, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has provided a priority list of 'should-do' cases. Where more can be done, acknowledging the individual circumstances of each patient and ensuring that COVID-19 safety is adhered to, it should be done.

It is important that Fellows use their discretion to determine which surgery to prioritise.

The New Zealand Branch guidance can be found here.

It is critical that clinical practices designed to minimise the spread of COVID-19 continue (refer to RANZCO COVID-19 FAQs).

The Triage Guidelines may need to be reinstated if the COVID-19 situation in Australia and New Zealand deteriorates.

Kind regards,


For the latest COVID-19 related clinical reports, papers and information, please visit the COVID-19 publications site via the RANZCO dashboard. If you would like to share your facility's clinical guidelines on this site, please send those to