Contact the Division on: (03) 6224 1015

$15 million for elective surgeries in Tasmania

Will Hodgman, Premier; Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health; Greg Hunt, Federal Health Minister.

The Federal and Tasmanian governments are committed to building a better health system for Tasmanians.

This is why the Morrison Government is bringing forward $15 million dollars for more elective surgeries and endoscopies.

The funding is part of a $20 million commitment, which was originally over four years to support an estimated 6,000 elective surgeries and endoscopies over this period, with $5 million being rolled out now to support more than 2,200 colonoscopies – an area of high need.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Morrison Government has agreed to make the remaining $15 million of funding immediately available for additional elective surgery.

“This adds to an annual health budget of almost $2 billion this financial year alone – a budget that is 40 percent higher than six years ago here in Tasmania,” Mr Hunt said.

“Our strong economic management means we can provide record investment in Medicare, public hospitals and medicines, delivering more doctors, more nurses and more services to Tasmanians.”

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman welcomed the funding, which he said would help ease demand.

“We are seeing pressure on waiting lists and waiting times, and we are committed to providing care to Tasmanians when they need it,” he said.

“These funds will help patients who have been waiting the longest, as well as children who have waited longer than clinically recommended.”

Minister for Health, Sarah Courtney, said Tasmania continued to see high demand for elective surgery, with the number of people added to the waiting list last financial year more than 3,000 greater than five years ago.

“Despite this growth, we have reduced the average excessive waiting time for the longest waiting non-urgent patients by 82 per cent (from 531 days longer than clinically recommended in March 2014, to 95 days longer than recommended in June 2019),” she said.

“We will now sit down with our surgeons to deliver a plan to boost surgery, to help better manage the waiting list and improve waiting times – with the plan to be delivered over the next 12 months.”

The type of surgeries and procedures will be determined in consultation with clinicians, and the final number will depend on the complexity of patients and procedures, with longer waiting patients requiring more complex care.

It is expected thousands of Tasmanians will receive care sooner across a range of procedures, potentially including:

  • Orthopaedic surgeries, such as hip and knee replacements;
  • Hernia repair and other general surgery;
  • Ophthalmological procedures, such as cataract extractions;
  • Women’s health procedures, such as hysterectomies and endometrial ablation; and
  • Cardiothoracic surgery.

More surgeries will be provided in all Tasmanian public hospitals and we will continue to work closely with the private sector, where necessary, to provide care as soon as we can.

Ms Courtney said the Royal Hobart Hospital’s new state-of-the-art K-Block building will open next year – a joint Commonwealth‑State project that will provide world class facilities to support our clinicians to provide better care.

“These investments will make a real difference and come on the back of significant investments in Tasmania’s health system made by the Hodgman and Morrison Governments over the past five years,” she said.

We have a strong partnership, which has delivered significant benefits for Tasmanians, including a secure future for the Mersey Community Hospital, funding for new cancer equipment and a range of boosted health services around our State.