Health Minister Robin Swann has announced plans to set up Northern Ireland's first day procedure centre at Lagan Valley Hospital.
ssentially, what this means is that people who need minor elective procedures can expect to have them carried out in the Lisburn hospital.
At the same time, Altnagelvin and Musgrave Park hospitals have been earmarked to become sites for orthopaedic procedures.
While the plans have been announced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the concept of regional hubs to provide healthcare is nothing new.
For many years now, successive expert reports have recommended a reduction in the number of acute hospitals and locations of various services.
So, the announcement from Mr Swann on Tuesday is the first real step towards delivering the blueprint set out in the likes of the Bengoa Report.
What is interesting is the fact that these changes appear to be happening without any formal public consultation process.
Health bosses, including Mr Swann, say they are necessary, not only because of the threat of a second wave of Covid-19, but also to help drive down Northern Ireland's waiting list shame.
The press release issued by the Department of Health said waiting times here for orthopaedic surgery are among the worst in the UK, with patients waiting up to four or five years for operations.
The fact is waiting times in Northern Ireland are the worst in the UK and a wait of five years for many operations is a conservative estimate.
Cast your mind back a few weeks when national headlines screamed that patients in England faced a 12-month wait for a hip operation. A patient here would consider themselves lucky if they waited just a year for an operation.
Waiting times in Northern Ireland have been soaring in recent years - and that was before the pause button was pressed on outpatient appointments and elective surgery in preparation for coronavirus.
We're through the first wave, but health officials are preparing themselves for a second, even more deadly surge, so operations are only being carried out in the most urgent of cases.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of thousands of people waiting for first outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests and elective procedures are suffering indefinitely.
The announcement by Mr Swann that "tackling our appalling waiting times remains a top priority" is welcome.
The fact that he is pressing ahead without adhering to the normal consultation process is recognition of the fact that too much time has already passed without meaningful action to address waiting lists.
However, as the figures released on the number of excess deaths show, an increasing number of people are coming to harm without a fully functioning health service.
We were told in 2016 that urgent change was needed. Four years on and the situation has deteriorated beyond imagination. It is going to take a lot more than two orthopaedic hubs and a regional elective care centre to make a dent in the current waiting lists.