Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader & Health spokesperson
The Health Minister is to be commended for the content and direction of his health reform White Paper, but if he thinks it can be delivered without significantly increased funding, he's dreaming.
The Greens want to see as much of the politics taken out of the health debate as possible and that is why we have publicly supported the reform direction, but the fact remains that the health system in Tasmania is chronically underfunded and suffering as a result of the Liberals' cuts to health.
The Hodgman Government gouged $210 million out of Health in its first budget which led to staff cuts across the system and an elective surgery waiting list that has soared by 51.7% at the Royal Hobart Hospital in the past year.
It simply won't do to shuffle money around the system to try to deliver the reforms. It won't work and Tasmanians who rely on our public health system will continue to suffer unless this government gets serious about properly funding health in Tasmania.
There is money in the State's coffers as a result of the projected $560 million in GST to flow to Tasmania over the next four years.
Instead of pouring that money into roads and bridges and pork-barreling, the government should be investing the extra GST funds in the purpose for which it was intended - into the health of Tasmanians.