Our health system is broken and needs to change, that’s why we have outlined a plan to reform the way we deliver health services in this State to ensure all Tasmanians have access to better care.

A $26 million partnership between the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments will deliver more surgeries for Tasmanians who have spent years on elective surgery waiting lists.

A tender has officially opened this weekend calling for the provision of elective surgery from a panel of public and private providers.

The panel of hospital providers will focus on patients who are on waiting lists but have not been scheduled to receive their surgery in Tasmanian public hospitals.

A key component of the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Health Services in Tasmania Action Plan signed with the Commonwealth in August last year consists of the purchasing of additional elective surgery and non-surgical procedures to treat long-wait patients.

As a result of this agreement $25.9 million over two years has been made available to support this activity.

Tenders are expected to be assessed and finalised by June and the Government expects surgeries to commence as early as July.

The latest figures in Your Health Progress Chart are further evidence that the health system isn’t working as it should and it needs reforming.

We know that waiting lists are too long and that’s why we committed $76 million in funding for extra surgeries in last year’s Budget.

The additional $26 million in Commonwealth funding will mean we can get treatment for more people who have waited too long for surgery.

But money alone isn’t enough – that’s why we’re reforming the health system and changing the way our health system operates to get better outcomes.

This includes establishing the Mersey as a dedicated Elective Day Surgery Centre, in order to help tackle the far-too-long waiting lists.

Almost every health professional agrees that this is the right approach.

The tender, which closes on May 6, can be found at www.tenders.tas.gov.au
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health