Tasmania’s new Premier must guarantee to quarantine Tasmania’s health system from cuts to frontline services.
Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O’Byrne said Tasmania’s health system is reeling from a series of crises and cannot absorb any further cuts to staff or services.
“This government has chronically underfunded Tasmania’s public health system, and year on year has had to top up the health budget.
“For the past year, one peak body after another has come out expressing grave concerns about the state of the health system. The AMA, the ANMF, and the College of Emergency Medicine have all spoken up about problems in the system and called for action.
“The concerns of frontline workers have been callously ignored, first by failed minister Michael Ferguson, then by his successor Sarah Courtney.
“As a new Premier takes over, that person must make a commitment to ending the chronic under-funding of health, and invest at a level that ensures all Tasmanians can access quality healthcare when and where they need it.
“What’s needed is not just a change of Premier, but a change of course.”
Ms O’Byrne said there are serious problems right across Tasmania’s health system.
“Tasmania’s emergency departments have been ranked the worst in the country, paramedics have threatened to take industrial action, redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital has been plagued by issues and delays, and nurses in Launceston are demanding escalation protocols because they’re under so much pressure.
“The health and ambulance systems are both in the firing line from the Government’s $450 million in budget cuts. A new Premier must take the opportunity to re-set budget priorities.
“Tasmanians expect to know whether the incoming Premier has a plan to deal with the issues crippling Tasmania’s health and hospital system. Right now, the only plan the Liberals have is more cuts to a system already straining at the seams.”
Michelle O’Byrne MP
Deputy Labor Leader