Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Leader
Tasmania’s health system has fallen further into decline under the Liberals, according to the 2023 Department of Health Annual Report.
Ambulance ramping is now far worse than it has ever been, with this new report showing almost half of patients arriving by ambulance to the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital are being ramped. Given paramedics are stuck in hospital caring for patients, it’s unsurprising to see that emergency response times for ambulances have also reached record high levels.
Distressingly, the report details the case of one patient in an “immediately life threatening” condition who had to wait under the care of paramedics before a doctor became available. This should never, ever happen to someone in the most critical of conditions who is supposed to receive instant care on arrival at hospital.
It’s beyond awful to see things continuing to get worse in Tasmanian Emergency Departments, with only half of patients now seen within the clinically-safe timeframes. The delays in EDs continue to grow, with two out of five admitted patients waiting longer than 12 hours. This figure is especially shocking given the government’s own target is that this should never occur.
Despite the Liberals trumpeting their success with elective surgeries, the annual report shows they have again miserably failed to meet the targets from their own elective surgery action plan, just two years old. Waiting times for surgery are way longer than promised, and the number of people on the waiting list is thousands more than it was just a few short years ago.
Throughout this annual report are numerous other concerning statistics – of fewer people being screened for breast cancer, serious shortcomings in mental health support, and tens of thousands of people waiting for an outpatient appointment.
This is a grim status report that reflects the fact the Liberals have spent a decade focused on everything other than keeping resourcing in health matched to the community’s need.
While the Liberals are intent on pushing ahead with building their billion-dollar stadium, the Greens will continue to fight for this government to get its priorities straight and to start investing the resources needed to turn our health system around.