Non-urgent elective orthopaedic operations on Island are being suspended from today.
Health and Social Care Minister, David Ashford MHK, announced the move during yesterday's Covid-19 briefing as part of the DHSC's plans to deal with pressures over the winter.
Mr Ashford says the decision will create much needed bed capacity following a rise in the number of daily admissions to the Emergency Department at Noble's in recent weeks.
However emergencies will still be dealt with as normal and day cases, clinics and minor injuries will continue to be dealt with by the orthopaedic team.
The minister states: "It is very regrettable that we have had to cancel some elective operations and I understand patients’ frustration, especially those who have been waiting some time.
"We do have to act now though, to ensure we are well prepared to treat seriously ill patients whose treatment cannot wait - Our winter planning exercise was drawn up for this situation, which is compounded by the backlog of cases left by the pandemic, and pressures on the UK system."
Officials say members of the public should treat any symptoms or concerns as they normally would, usually consulting their GP or local pharmacist in the first instance.
Meanwhile, anyone suffering chest pains or breathlessness or in a medical emergency should call 999.