Embattled Minister has failed his workforce, failed patients
- Reactionary response to pressures from own party and workforce
- New mental health initiatives won’t make a difference in the short term
Embattled Health Minister Michael Ferguson has today admitted his comprehensive failure in a knee-jerk, panicked reaction to the growing health and hospital crisis.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said Mr Ferguson was under intense pressure from his own workforce, frustrated patients and members of his own party to admit the health system is in crisis.
Despite evidence of a $100 million black hole in health funding, the Minister’s announcements go nowhere near meeting the immediate demands on the health system.
“Labor welcomes the acknowledgement by the Minister that he needs to do more to support the health system but the initiatives he has announced today will not take pressure off our busy emergency departments in the immediate term because it will still be six months before any changes start,” Ms White said.
“Even then there are questions about the model of care for the new Hospital in the Home program, questions about safe staffing and whether this initiative will free up beds for patients who really need them.
“The Minister has been dragged kicking and screaming to make an announcement today because of the pressure applied to him by both within his party and outside in the clinical workforce.
“It is very much a reactionary response and we are concerned the Minister has failed to adequately consult with those at the frontline who will be responsible for delivering these changes including Hospital at Home for Tasmanians suffering mental ill health.
“The announcements around mental health services have been undertaken in a rushed manner. Michael Ferguson has announced measures he thinks are appropriate without consulting the frontline, including the ANMF, the AMA, the Medical Staff Association, the Mental Health Council of Tasmania and HACSU.
“Tasmanians should be concerned that Michael Ferguson is still not listening and he is arrogantly continuing to push ahead with what he considers are solutions, without understanding if they will make a difference to patients.”