Tasmanian Times

Health

Commit to the Mersey, Labor

· Liberals challenge State and Federal MPs to match infrastructure upgrade at Mersey

· Federal Labor must also make funding commitment beyond 2011

· Call for on Federal and State Labor Members to fight for a long term sustainable future for the Mersey Community Hospital

If Federal and State Labor Governments are committed to the long-term future of the Mersey Community Hospital, they should also commit to matching the capital upgrade announced by the Liberals yesterday.
The Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, must also give a guarantee that Commonwealth funding will continue beyond the current three-year deal which expires in 2011.
This must happen before the next State and Federal elections.
The Mersey has had many battles to fight over the years, but now the future for the hospital is looking bright with increasing demand and throughput.
We need to keep the forward momentum and that’s why the Liberals have announced an $8 million investment to significantly improve facilities to meet current and future challenges.
But what would also help the hospital, its staff and the community is a iron-clad commitment from the Federal Labor Government as the Mersey’s long-term future.
As recently as October this year, the Federal Minister for Health, Ms Roxon, when visiting the State, failed to give an answer when asked if she would continue to fund the Mersey at the same level beyond its current three year deal.
That is worrying, and I call on all Federal and State Braddon MPs to pressure Ms Roxon for a clear commitment on funding.
Tasmanians do not want to see the Mersey used as a political pawn; they simply want their regional hospital to remain delivering quality health and hospital services into the future.
It’s up to all of us to work together to ensure this.
Brett Whiteley MP Shadow Minister for Health and Human Services

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