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Hospitals Need Staff, Not Just New Theatres

31 Jan 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The wait time in emergency and for elective surgery in our hospitals is skyrocketing and Minister Ferguson can only fix it by putting on more doctors and nurses.

It’s great that the government is opening surgical theatres at our hospitals to deal with the escalating elective surgery crisis, but we need more staff to work in them.

The Minister needs to explain how he’s going to pay for the extra doctors and nurses that are needed to treat the 1250 additional elective surgeries he’s promising. Otherwise, it is a prescription for even more pressure on already over-worked staff.

An extra 15 nurses and four support staff might slightly ease the additional burden on at the Launceston General Hospital, but it won't fix the chronic staff shortages in our hospitals.

There are already wards in the Royal Hobart Hospital which have unoccupied beds because of a lack of staff. If the Minister is serious about easing the pressure on our hospitals, he needs to fund the people who do the work.