1,000 people dying each year waiting for crucial medical appointments 02 November 2023

Tas Labor

Right to Information data shows around 1,000 people a year are dying waiting for crucial outpatient medical appointments that could save their lives.

While the Rockliff Government sprouts that it is reducing the elective surgery wait list, they have clearly forgotten about the hidden list of those waiting to see a specialist before they can even wait to get their surgery.

There are currently more than 56,836 patients waiting for outpatient appointments across Tasmania – up a staggering 31,146 after ten years of Liberal government.

When a patient waits too long for treatment, their health deteriorates and their treatment can become less effective, leading to worse health outcomes and sadly sometimes even death.

This costly delay not only causes immense stress for many Tasmanians but also costs taxpayers more as more sick people present to our emergency departments.

It is worse for those waiting for life-saving neurosurgery appointments, with those categorised as urgent waiting 1032 days – or 2.8 years – just to see a specialist, and those categorised as semi urgent waiting 3.8 years.

In the North, urgent gastroenterology patients wait a year to see a specialist, while semi-urgent patients wait 4.3 years.

A Labor Government will make it a priority to ensure Tasmanians can receive healthcare in their time of need and has already announced a robust regional health strategy so people can receive care closer to home.

Labor will ensure that all the policies we announced are backed with genuine workforce attraction and retention measures.

After 10 years in office, the Liberal Government has done little to address the health crisis and this is hurting Tasmanians.

Health Minister Guy Barnett must outline how he plans to recruit more specialists to the state to alleviate this issue and reduce the outpatient waiting list.

Anita Dow MP

Shadow Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing

/Public Release. View in full here.