Surgery restrictions put Virtus (ASX:VRT) share price in focus

The Virtus Health Ltd (ASX: VRT) share price is in focus as elective surgeries are suspended due to the current Omicron COVID-19 wave.

Virtus is an assisted reproductive services provider. It operates in Australia, Denmark, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Elective surgery restrictions impact on Virtus IVF services

Today Virtus addressed how it will be impacted by elective surgery changes that NSW, Victorian and Queensland state governments have implemented because of the current Omicron COVID-19 wave.

NSW state government changes

In NSW all non-urgent elective surgeries are suspended from 10 January 2022. However, Virtus said that this suspension doesn’t apply to procedures where patients are admitted and discharged on the same day.

Virtus said that the current suspension in NSW will not restrict its IVF and other services in NSW, as patients are admitted and discharged on the same day.

Victorian state government changes

In Victoria all non-urgent elective surgery has been suspended from 12 January 2022 until 12 April 2022. Virtus will only be able to provide IVF treatment to patients that had their IVF cycle begin prior to 6 January 2022 and patients who are receiving health treatments that would render their eggs unviable.

Virtus said that if the Victorian direction continues for the announced 3 months its Victorian clinics will experienced reduced activity. It said that it is currently taking steps to mitigate the impact of the reduced activity.

Queensland state government changes

In Queensland all non-urgent elective surgery is suspended for public hospitals only. Virtus said that this doesn’t impact its IVF or other services which are undertaken in private hospitals.

Virtus global clinics and Omicron

Virtus said that it is experiencing operational challenges across its global clinics and hospitals due to the current Omicron COVID-19 wave.

Staff shortages, increased testing requirements and deferral of procedures are some of the challenges that Virtus are currently facing.

Management said that the Virtus team is managing each of these challenges well and expect demand for services to return quickly, as experienced after previous COVID-19 waves.

The company said that “the inherent uncertainty in the current operating conditions means that any near term financial impact cannot currently be accurately quantified” and it will provide the next financial update at the first half year results on 15 February 2022.

Final thoughts on the Virtus share price

It is not surprising that Virtus are experiencing operational challenges with the Omicron wave, as lots of businesses in the world are facing similar issues.

The suspension of elective surgeries could have been a lot worse for Virtus, it appears that it will only be impacted in Victoria with these current restrictions. The Virtus share price is up a small 0.40% at the time of writing.

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At the time of publishing, Jaz does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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