It is disappointing to see the unions escalating industrial action given the Government is taking action to resolve pressures at the Launceston General Hospital.
Measures include the implementation of a Transit Lounge to assist with managing patients awaiting discharge. This is now in place and patient flow improvements are already being seen as a result, which is making beds available quicker.
We have increased nursing staff levels on Ward 4D, which has enabled the staffing of extra beds, bringing the total to 24 permanent beds, as well as five flex beds available as needed.
We are recruiting assistants in nursing to undertake appropriate duties and ease the pressure on current workload, and we are undertaking a review of the LGH demand escalation policy.
In this context, the question has to be asked why the ANMF is increasing industrial action, when the Government is doing everything it can to practically support patients and staff.
The ANMF may have forgotten that the Government has opened all previously closed wards, employed more staff and is always open to doing more.
I encourage the unions to engage constructively with the Department of Health as we continue to consider ways to support our patients and hardworking staff.

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health