Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
Following last night’s damning national exposé of avoidable deaths in Tasmanian hospitals, Premier Will Hodgman continues to falsely claim his government has not cut the Health Budget. Instead, unbelievably, he claims they have increased health spending.
The Liberals sent a directive to hospitals to cuts elective surgery procedures and nursing shifts. The Premier’s statements in Parliament this morning would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so dire.
Last night’s Four Corners program revealed the heightened risks for regional Australians accessing hospital services and shone a spotlight on the Launceston General Hospital.
Tasmania’s Auditor-General confirmed nine out of ten patients admitted to the LGH spent close to 40 hours in the Emergency Department. In an attempt to explain her government’s failures, the Health Minister, Sarah Courtney, claimed the wait time has dropped to 28 hours – still a whole day longer than the required national minimum hospital standard.
The Four Corners report highlighted the heartbreaking story of Mr John Novaksi, a much-loved father and husband from Turners Beach. Mr Novaksi died needlessly and prematurely from a heart attack after being discharged from a horrendously overcrowded LGH Emergency Department, instead of being admitted to life-saving care.
When faced with this tragic story of hospital dysfunction, Premier Hodgman doubled down on his falsehoods and spin. Anyone who watched Four Corners, or who has presented to a Tasmanian Emergency Department, would understand the Liberals are cruelly cutting frontline health services.
Surgeons at the Royal Hobart Hospital only two weeks ago were directed to remove 15% of patients from their surgery waiting lists. Last week, the shifts of casual and permanent part-time nurses were reduced from 8, to 6 or 7 hours - effectively removing the handover time critical for patient care and safety.
Tasmanians aren’t fools. They will decide for themselves whether they accept the evidence from the Auditor-General, surgeons and nurses – or the dishonesty and spin from the Premier and Minister for Health.