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Continuing to support the Launceston General Hospital

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

Thank you to our incredibly hardworking staff at the Launceston General Hospital who have been dealing with a busy period in the past 24 hours.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is working hard to relieve demand pressures at the hospital, and we are rolling out immediate solutions, as well as our long-term plan, to support the LGH.

We had a very constructive meeting with the ANMF last week, so it is disappointing they are increasing their industrial action.

The Government has delivered significant boosts to nurse numbers from March 2014 to March 2018, with nearly 375 FTE more nurses in our health system. For the LGH, this means 180 FTE more nurses and more than 20 FTE more doctors.

We have opened 120 new beds and provided more support for EDs, in line with what the union has asked for, including Ward 4D, which Labor closed.

I can assure nurses and Tasmanians that as Minister for Health, I take their concerns very seriously.

The Tasmanian Health Service is rolling out the $1.5 million ED support package right now, which includes additional nurses, extended pathology, more bed cleaning capacity and initiatives to improve patient flow at the LGH and RHH.

We have also recently implemented the Transit Lounge at the LGH to assist with managing patients awaiting discharge. This has improved patient flow, making beds available quicker.

We are also currently building the buildings needed to open even more beds as part of our long-term plan for health.

The Government will continue to engage constructively with the ANMF and will always listen to and consider ways to provide more support for our patients and staff.