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Labor Abandon Health as Paul Lennon's Grip Tightens

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Tags: Health, Preventative Health, Pokies, Hospitals, Elective Surgery, Government Procurement

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

After spending five years talking about the importance of health to Tasmanians, Labor appears to have abandoned their ‘top priority’.

First they ditched their pokies policy, and now all scrutiny of the Hodgman Government’s mismanagement of health is gone. Labor are instead focussing on a new two-word slogan about a “jobs emergency”, doing the bidding of former Labor Premier and heavyweight, Paul Lennon.

Since Parliament last sat, Royal Hobart Hospital surgeons were directed to cut 15% from their elective surgery waiting lists, ambulance staffing is critically deficient, and the Hobart Private Hospital tender was gifted under unknown conditions to a Cayman Islands’ listed tax-dodging company.

Just yesterday, the Health Minister struggled to answer basic questions about the number of beds the final RHH extension will provide.

The use of precious public health resources and access to essential services, including emergency departments, ambulances and life-saving cancer screening surgery, remains a critical concern for Tasmanians. On the first day back in Parliament, however, Labor didn’t mention the government’s appalling mismanagement of the public health system.

Under Paul Lennon, David O’Byrne and their Labor cronies’ direction, the so-called Opposition have back-flipped on their principled position on poker machines - a critical preventative health policy.

The Liberals are still mismanaging health services - including cutting $50 million from the RHH elective surgery budget - but the Labor Party has clearly left the job of scrutinising the government to the Greens.

Rebecca White has already scrapped her Party’s keystone election policy to remove pokies from pubs and clubs, and now appears to be walking away from her once-stated commitment to public health. It’s clear Ms White is Labor Leader in name only.