Texas halts all nonessential medical procedures — 4 insights

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered clinicians to delay all nonessential surgeries in the state March 23 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, local NBC affiliate KXAN reports.

What you should know:

1. Mr. Abbott made the decision to free up hospital bed space and limit personal protective equipment use.

2. If clinicians violate the order, they can be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for 180 days.

3. Clinicians KXAN interviewed agreed that it was the correct decision. Randall Schultz, MD, of Austin-based Texas Orthopedics, had to cancel 20 surgeries over the next two weeks, but said, "If we don't follow these guidelines, we may be looking at a catastrophe we may never recover from."

4. The state, like others, urged patients to turn to telemedicine to continue seeing their clinicians.

More articles on surgery centers:
21 ASCs with coronavirus restrictions or closures
How gastroenterology practices are responding to COVID-19
How COVID-19 has affected Tenet, HCA Healthcare and Surgery Partners' shares

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