Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Member for Bass
The Health Minister is delusional if he believes the situation at the Launceston General Hospital is not about funding and resourcing. He seems to be deaf to the fact that when nine of eleven Emergency Department specialists and six senior nurses leave, there is a crisis.
In recent days, I have spoken to a number of doctors and staff at the LGH. They are deeply concerned about the impact of a bed shortage at the hospital and they believe cuts and the ongoing shortage of funding is an issue.
The Minister's plan to only "appoint a key medical manager" sounds like he thinks the solution is for staff to be better organised.
This is a situation of the Health Minister’s own making. He has presided over health cuts that are impacting on patients and staff at the LGH. He has more cuts planned for next year, with 5.7% less allocated to Emergency Departments in the hospital budget than was spent this year.
Pretending that this is the fault of union scaremongering won’t wash with the people who are working at the frontline in our local hospital every day, doing their best to provide excellence in patient care despite the chronic under-resourcing of the hospital.
The Minister needs to wake up to the facts. He can’t continue to blame someone else for serious problems that he has created. It is simply petulant to blame others when some of the LGH’s best doctors and nurses are saying they’ve had enough.
Northern Tasmanians deserve better from their Health Minister and local member, Mr Ferguson.
Instead of casting around for someone to point the finger at, he needs to engage more openly with clinicians, nurses and other staff at the LGH. If he gave them a chance, they would tell him there is a serious human resourcing and bed shortage problem at the LGH and that he needs to take a leadership role in dealing with it rather than looking around for others to blame.