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Elective Surgery Waiting Lists

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 20 October 2014

Tags: Elective Surgery, Hospitals

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report again highlights the pressing need for long term structural reform of Tasmania’s health sector and the reversal of decisions taken by Liberals at a State and Federal level to savagely cut public health funding,” Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“The increase from 8.7 per cent Tasmanians waiting for over a year for elective surgery up to 11.5 per cent is deeply concerning, and the impact on the lives of Tasmanians who are waiting for an elective surgery procedure is profoundly negative and stress-inducing,” Ms O’Connor said.

"The only way to ensure the elective surgery waiting list is brought down and maintained at a sustainable, national standard level, is to make our hospitals much more efficient without carving into their funding.”

"Any improvements in the waiting list are likely to be temporary unless there is a major change of approach from current Liberal Commonwealth and State governments.”

“Minister Ferguson needs to acknowledge that the Commonwealth funding cuts of $1.7billion over the next decade, combined with the $111 million in cuts to the Tasmanian Health Organisations in the State budget, are both contributing to the precarious situation facing the state’s public hospitals.”

"Any savings made through more efficient practices and processes in health needs to be reinvested back into health, not shipped over to the Consolidated Fund which is largely the approach the Hodgman Government is taking.”

“Minister Ferguson cannot possibly expect Tasmanians to believe that their access to elective surgery will improve under his government’s policy to cut public sector jobs?”

“The Minister needs to get on the phone to his Federal counterpart and demand an urgent rethink of the Commonwealth’s funding cuts, and call for a review of current funding models.”

“The Greens, along with health economists and other health stakeholders including the AMA, have advocated for real structural reform of our health system in the form of Tasmania becoming a trial state for a single funder model.”

“There is no excuse for this initiative to not be progressed given the findings of the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.”

“Tasmanian patients, their families, and our hard-working medical professionals require an end to the blame game between state and federal arenas, and we need a practical, achievable and appropriately funded long term strategy to provide for health needs now and in the future," Ms O’Connor said.