Ending Ramping In Tasmania

Guy Barnett, Minister for Health

The Rockliff Liberal Government welcomes today’s Tasmanian Industrial Commission (TIC) decision which allows us to implement our election pledge to end ambulance ramping.

The Minister for Health, Guy Barnett, said the re-elected Rockliff Liberal Government will move decisively to make ambulance ramping a thing of the past, as part of its 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future.

“Since taking over from Labor and the Greens in 2014, we’ve delivered an additional 298 hospital beds and employed an extra 2,500 health professionals including 1,390 nurses – but there’s more work to do and our health system still needs to be better,” said Minister Barnett.

“Last month we announced a new protocol mandating a maximum 60-minute window for all patients arriving by ambulance to be transferred to the care of Emergency Department staff.

“Following on from today’s TIC decision, we will commence the implementation of this policy on April 22.

“We will then commence reducing this 60-minute window to 30 minutes – around the average time it takes an ambulance crew to safely transfer their patient to the care of the hospital.

“Tasmanians will get the emergency care they need as soon as possible and our paramedics will be freed up to deal with other emergencies.”

Minister Barnett said that the initiative would be progressively implemented over the next two years in close consultation with paramedics, medical professionals and unions.

“We value the input of our fantastic healthcare workers to this point and will continue to consult with them and unions,” said the Minister.

“Importantly, to support the implementation of this ramping policy, we are going to be employing an additional 44 new doctors and 25 new nurses to staff the Royal’s expanded Emergency Department, increasing its operational capacity by around 30 percent, 24/7.

“With around 40 per cent of presentations at our EDs currently being Tasmanians who are not emergency cases, many of whom could be treated by GPs, our new GP Guarantee will also assist in the implementation of this policy by reducing pressure on our State’s Emergency Departments.”

Along with the Rockliff Liberal Government’s new GP Guarantee, and massive infrastructure upgrades across the State’s four public hospitals, this ramping policy will help to build an even better health system for all Tasmanians.

/Public Release. View in full here.