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Labor priorities wrong on Health – must prioritise public patients

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

 

Improving the health system for public patients is our top priority – however it’s clearly not the case for Labor.

Rebecca White claims there is a health crisis yet Labor have no plans to open even a single extra public hospital bed to ease bed block. In fact Labor’s health policies appear at odds with everything they claim to stand for.

Instead of supporting the public health system, Labor’s focus in Launceston is on giving away public land at the LGH to a private company, for a private hospital which would likely take a decade to even happen.

Worse still the area Rebecca White has marked up for a private hospital overlaps planned extensions to Children’s Ward 4K, putting the whole project at risk, including the establishment of a much needed specialist child and adolescent mental health unit.

It’s clear that just like Rebecca White’s rushed Medihotels blunder to put sick people in hotels, Labor’s latest effort has been a policy pushed out on the run, without proper consultation.

There is currently a proposal for co-location with the Government which we will consider on its merits through a proper process, however we won’t be making policy on the run and we will always put the needs of public patients first.

The Hodgman Government’s priority is to invest in the public system, which is why in the North we have:

  • Opened two new surgical theatres at LGH, which has dramatically reduced the elective surgery waiting list and waiting times
  • Invested more than $9 million for the first upgrade to the Children’s Ward since it was built
  • Undertaken a further $4 million upgrade of other facilities, including a redeveloped Allied Health Department and Special Care Dental Unit, as well as upgrades to the nursing call system
  • Opened dozens of public hospital beds
  • Re-opened ward 4D closed by Labor, and
  • Increased front-line staffing with almost 140 additional full-time equivalent nurses and 14 additional full-time equivalent doctors, compared to three years ago.

It is clear that the Hodgman Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of the public health system.

A re-elected majority Liberal Government will continue to support and invest in the LGH so Tasmanians in the North can access get the best health care available.