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Health System in Crisis

5 April 2016
Rosalie Woodruff MP

NOTICE OF MOTION

TUESDAY 5 APRIL 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP on tomorrow to move -

That this house:

1.     Acknowledges that the events in Tasmania’s hospitals over the last couple of months are inexcusable and cast a black shadow over this parliament.

2.     Notes that on 29th January a 95 year old woman was left to lie on the floor of the emergency department waiting room at Royal Hobart Hospital for hours because no beds were available.

3.     Notes that on 24th February nurses at the Royal Hobart Hospital publicly stated that threats from increasingly aggressive patients and the pressure of working double shifts have them at breaking point.

4.     Notes that on 20th March, a 91 year old veteran was forced to wait 48 hours for surgery after presenting to the North West General Hospital after a fall which resulted in severed fingers, a dislocated knee and serious cuts to his face.

5.     Notes that on 21st March, asbestos and mould were found in two blocks of the RHH redevelopment, raising significant health and safety concerns.

6.     Notes that on 23rd March, a Hobart obstetrician could not access running water to wash his hands before performing an emergency caesarean.

7.     Notes that in that same week, two women went to the Royal Hobart Hospital’s emergency department after developing problems with their pregnancies and suffered miscarriages while waiting in chairs, with the hospital unable to find the women beds in time.

8.     Recognises that nurses, doctors and other staff are working to maximum efficiency under difficult conditions while the Liberal Government continues to cut support staff and funding for beds.

9.     Understands that our health system is in crisis and that this is a consequence of this Liberal Government’s relentless cuts to health funding since it has been in office.

10.                         Recognises the Minister’s refusal to accept responsibility for these appalling actions described, and instead opting to place the blame at the feet of hospital staff is completely unacceptable.

11.                         Acknowledges that without a dramatic increase in funding, winter illnesses may bring the State’s biggest hospital to a standstill.

12.                        Notes that on 11th March last year budget documents were released that showed Tasmania’s public hospitals will lose $20 million next year and $1.1 billion over eight years, with a well-regarded policy analyst noting that Tasmania stands to lose $2.7 billion in federal health funding over the next decade.

13.                        Acknowledges that balancing the State’s budget should not come at any cost, particularly not at a cost that is borne by ordinary Tasmanians at a time when they are sick and vulnerable.  

14.                         Calls on the Minister to take responsibility for the unfolding health system crisis and put adequate money on the table to fix the system before it sets in concrete.