 Patients forced to travel interstate for both serious and basic procedures
 Government’s promised review of outpatient waiting lists needs action
 Health Minister must face the fact that waiting times are unacceptable
The Health Minister must stage an immediate and wide-ranging review of outpatient waiting lists as more and more Tasmanians face unacceptable delays in receiving basic health care.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners had revealed increasing numbers of Tasmanian patients were being forced to seek treatment interstate for basic procedures because they feared getting sicker on waiting lists.
“What we are talking about is the bread and butter of health care. Patients who need hip replacements, patients who need knee replacements, patients who need rehabilitation after they’ve had a stroke …. Basic health care, the needs of ordinary Tasmanians – it’s just not available on a regular basis in a timely way here.”
Dr Bastian Seidel, RACGP President, ABC radio.
Ms White said a promised audit of outpatient waiting lists had never been delivered by Health Minister Michael Ferguson.
“Minister Ferguson needs to finally start listening to the doctors at the coalface who are telling him that every day they are dealing with Tasmanians who just cannot get access to the care they need,” Ms White said.
“We’ve reached the point where the Hodgman Liberal Government needs to undertake an urgent review of waiting lists, ascertain where and why the blockage is happening and attempt to fix it.
“The Health Minister continues to oversee a health and hospital system in crisis and he needs to make an effort to help clinicians and patients understand why they are being so badly failed.”
Rebecca White MP Labor Leader