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Child immunisation rates and ambulance investment at record highs

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

Tasmania’s latest child immunisation rates are the best ever on record, the Report on Government Services has revealed.

Tasmania is in the top three states nationally for each age cohort, including the best result in Australia for ages 60 to 63 months.

This is an incredible achievement and it shows parents and carers are listening to our important message about vaccinations, which can be lifesaving.

Importantly, the latest RoGS also highlights funding for ambulance services in 2017-18 was the highest per capita spend on record in Tasmania and that there has been a significant boost to the Ambulance Tasmania workforce.

We know there is more to do, and while the report shows ambulance response times remain high, it is important to recognise they have improved on the previous year.

Further, in line with recent Health Dashboard data, median ambulance response times are in fact the lowest they have been in two years – from a peak of 14.5 minutes in January 2017 to 12.3 minutes in September last year.

That is in the face of consistently high demand on ambulance services, and reflects the hard work of Ambulance Tasmania. We will continue to invest in this crucial service as we roll out our $125 million plan, which includes more than 50 new paramedics and improved coverage for rural and regional communities in particular.

Disappointingly, Sarah Lovell has begun the year exactly how she ended 2018 – with lazy politics, personal attacks and Mediscare tactics that help no-one.

Labor knows, and has acknowledged, that there is record funding going into the health system and that there are more staff than ever before, with the data shown in the RoGS clearly backing that up.

There are still Tasmanians waiting too long for care, so we are working hard to build a better health system, through short-term and long-term solutions. That includes an unprecedented $757 million over the next five-and-a-half years, to build modern facilities, open nearly 300 more hospital beds, employ 1300 extra staff and provide more services.