Immediate health action plan for a Better Future 03 March 2024

Tas Labor

A Rebecca White Labor Government is committed to repairing our broken health system and ensuring a better future for all Tasmanians and Tasmanian healthcare workers.

Labor’s plan for Immediate Action on Health is a commitment to redevelop our hospitals, rebuild our workforce and improve access to care within our first term of office.

  • Redeveloping our hospitals

We will make redevelopments at our major hospitals our highest priority for Federal Government funding in our first term, working with them to deliver these projects sooner

Under the Rockliff Government, the LGH redevelopment will not be complete until 2032, RHH not until 2050 and the North West Hospitals redevelopment plans have not started. There hasn’t been a cent of Federal funding locked in for any of this work. Tasmanians can’t afford to wait any longer.

  • Rebuilding our workforce

We will make 500 health workers permanent within our first term, including doctors, paramedics, nurses, and midwives. The use of short-term contracts and casualisation of the health workforce has forced hundreds of talented health workers out of our state. We want to keep Tasmanian health care workers in Tasmania.

We will boost the number of staff in our public hospitals to improve patient flow and help reduce emergency wait times. In our first term, we will invest $4.8 million p/a to employ 32 new staff, transfer initiative nurses, patient flow commanders, psychiatric emergency nurses and discharge planners to help with safer admissions and discharges.

  • Improving access to care

We will immediately double the number of hospital in the home beds state-wide so more patients can be treated in the comfort of their own home, while also alleviating pressure on our busy hospitals. We will double the amount of community beds from 22 to 44 beds at a cost of $2.5 million a year.

We will double the number of community paramedic hubs so more people can be treated at home rather than travelling to our busy hospitals. Community Paramedics are highly trained to treat more illnesses and injuries. We will invest $2.6 million to buy 3 new community paramedicine vehicles and additional 12 paramedics will be deployed at St Marys, Claremont and Mowbray.

We will also expand the Mental Health Emergency Response Service (Police, Ambulance, and Clinician Early Response) state wide to include a permanent presence in the Northwest and in Launceston.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Rebecca White:

When I visit hospitals and EDs the issue I hear about most often is experienced nurses and midwives leaving because they are overworked and under-resourced.

People are at the heart of our plan. Without the nurses, paramedics and GPs to deliver healthcare, we won’t have a functioning health system. It’s time for a better future, with a government that looks after them.

It’s time for a better future for our healthcare workers, and I’m committed to ensuring the people who look after us, feel looked after by their government.

Almost 100,000 people were languishing on waiting lists in Tasmania as of the end of January 2024, with the average outpatient wait time sitting at 385 days. This is not good enough.

We need a fresh start, common sense approach to health so Tasmanians get the care they deserve where and when they need it.

That’s why I am proud to launch our immediate action plan for health that we have developed in collaboration with the nurses and doctors who work day in and day out to care for us.

Quotes attributable to Anita Dow:

This is the first step to retain more health staff in areas that need them the most and alleviate pressure on our emergency departments.

It is critical we have a government that listens to our key workers so we can deliver a standard of healthcare that Tasmanians deserve.

The Immediate Action Plan is in addition to Labor’s Regional Health Plan and our free community health checks program.

After 10 years under the Liberals, our hospitals and health system has been left understaffed and over-stretched.

After 10 years in Government, the Liberals have given up on health. This is not only costing taxpayer dollars, it’s costing Tasmanians their lives and driving healthcare workers out of the state.

An immediate priority of a Labor government is to take pressure off our public hospitals and relieve ambulance ramping pressures.

Rebecca White MP

Tasmanian Labor Leader

Anita Dow MP

Shadow Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing

/Public Release. View in full here.