Yesterday the Morrison government announced restrictions on elective surgery would be eased next week.

Since March 26 only category 1 and some exceptional category 2 surgery could proceed to save space in hospitals for COVID-19 sufferers.

But Australia appears to have flattened the curve and the Morrison government anticipates that supplies of protective equipment and ventilators are sufficient through to December 2020.

As a consequence, the government is easing restrictions.

From next week, all category 2 and some category 3 procedures are permitted to go ahead.

Category 1 patients are those that are likely to deteriorate if they don’t receive treatment within 30 days, whereas category 2 and 3 patients are those considered to have quite a bit more time before their health deteriorates.

Procedures that will be allowed to go ahead from next week include IVF, screening programs, joint replacements, cataracts and eye procedures, and endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures.


The stocks that may find relief

With IVF one of the procedures given the green light to resume from next week, one beneficiary is expected to be Monash IVF (ASX:MVF).

The company told shareholders in late March it would be significantly impacted by the restrictions on elective surgeries, with the only expected patients being those that began treatment prior to the suspension.

Stockhead has contacted Monash IVF for comment.

The ASX’s dental franchise stocks, 1300 Smiles (ASX:ONT), Smiles Inclusive (ASX:SIL) and Pacific Smiles Group (ASX:PSQ), are also likely to benefit.

1300 Smiles boss Daryl Holmes told Stockhead yesterday’s news was,”very promising and exciting”.

However, it is not quite back to business as usual. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) still prohibits procedures where the risk of transmission cannot be managed.

But it does mean examinations, non-invasive fillings and extractions are allowed to go ahead after a month in limbo.

ADA boss Dr Carmelo Bonanno said this was a big step toward returning to business as usual.

“We look forward to the complete return of all dental services further down the track.”