Baby with heart failure among thousands waiting for surgery

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A three-month-old baby has had her critical heart surgery scheduled and cancelled four times in the last two weeks.

Amelia Rehn was born with congenital heart failure in Melbourne and first had surgery to implant a stent at just two-days-old.

Her wearied parents Brad and Jessica are from Tasmania and have been unable to take their baby girl home as she needs another surgery at the Royal Children's Hospital to give Amelia a bigger stent.

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"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 go home."

At the end of March, 89,000 people were waiting for elective and critical surgery in Victoria.

Baby Amelia has joined them.

"There are not enough beds and the system is broken and there is no room," Jessica said.

"It's awful, she is sick enough to be in the hospital but no sick enough to need emergency surgery."

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said the state had passed the peak of the BA.4 and BA.5 wave.

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But the current surgery back-log is due to the thousands of healthcare workers home sick with COVID-19.

"I understand the relief but pressures on the health system will remain for some time to come," Sutton said.

Half of the 773 Victorians in hospital with COVID are over 75 and almost one in 10 new cases has been infected before.

Sutton said vulnerable people should focus on wearing masks and getting their third and fourth COVID-19 vaccinations.

Source: 9News