Elective surgical suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sizeable surgical case backlog throughout the world. As we ramp back up, how do we decide which cases take priority? Potential future waves (or a future pandemic) may lead to additional surgical shutdown and subsequent reopening. Deciding which cases to prioritise in the face of limited health system capacity has emerged as a new challenge for healthcare leaders. Here we present an ethically grounded and operationally efficient surgical prioritisation framework for healthcare leaders and practitioners, drawing insights from decision analysis and organisational sciences.


Jain, A., Dai T, Myers, C.G., et al. (2021). Prioritising surgical cases deferred by the covid-19 pandemic: an ethics-inspired algorithmic framework for health leaders. BMJ Leader, 5, 124-126.