The Hodgman Liberal Government has made rebuilding Tasmania’s health system a key priority and this is reflected in the actions we have taken.
We are investing an unprecedented $6.4 billion over the 2016-17 Budget and Forward Estimates, $600 million more than the former Labor-Green Government’s last Budget – including opening beds, conducting more surgeries and employing more frontline clinical staff.
This is in stark contrast to the Labor-Green record in Government of cutting $500 million from health, closing wards and locking away hospital beds, cutting mental health jobs, high levels of ambulance ramping and the nation’s worst elective surgery waiting list.
As a Government we recognise the constant challenge to meet the demand in our health system and that is why we’re prepared to do more to meet this challenge, including additional investment in the May Budget.
Responding to this demand and building a health system for the future, is only possible with the Budget back on track.
The challenge for the Opposition leader Rebecca White is to set out Labor’s fully-costed health policy in an alternative Budget next month and clearly state how she will pay for it.
Our achievements include:
*Record health funding: Our last Budget included a spend of $6.4 billion on health – more than $600 million than the last Labor-Green Budget, and we’ll continue to invest in health in our coming Budget.
*More staff: Nurses up an extra 140 FTE at June 30 2016 than in 2014, doctors an extra 32.63 FTE at June 30 2016 than the previous year, allied health professionals an extra 30 FTE at June 30 2016 than the previous year and additional paramedics up 9.79 per cent to 340.13 at June 30 2016.
*More beds: We are opening 50 across the state – Southern Tasmania – 27, LGH 15 and NWRH 8. Once the $689 million RHH Redevelopment is complete there will be additional capacity of 250 beds.
*Reduced elective surgery waiting lists: Waiting lists are the shortest they have ever been. We have provided more than 3300 surgeries and procedures at the Mersey’s Dedicated Elective Surgery Centre since July 2016.
*Healthier elective surgery waiting list at RHH: The number of people who had waited too long for surgery at the RHH at the end of March 2017 was fewer than 800 – it peaked at almost 3000 under Labor and the Greens in 2011.
*Improvement in outpatient waiting times at RHH: The outpatient waiting list fell by more than 600 in 2016, with a reduction in the average waiting time.
*More people through RHH Emergency Department within four hours: 63 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours so far in 2016-17, compared to rates of 40 per cent and 50 per cent under the former Government. The percentage of people who left the ED before being seen is at a six year low.
*Ramping at the RHH is down: 1500 fewer hours ramped in 2016 compared to 2013 under Labor and the Greens – a reduction of more than 60 per cent.
*Ramping down at the LGH since we re-opened Ward 4D: Now at its lowest level in at least the last five financial years.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health