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Liberals’ Budget Fails on Health Again

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 25 May 2023

Tags: Health, Health Crisis, Mental Health

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Treasurer Michael Ferguson is trying to pretend he’s handed down a Budget that will tackle the health crisis, but Tasmanians will see straight through his shameless attempts at spin.

This Liberal budget has sacrificed everything, including critical future funding for health, and the staff and patients who desperately need timely care, into funding the AFL’s stadium demands. 

The increased spending in health over the next four years will barely cover the stubbornly high rate of inflation, increase in admissions, and other predictable cost increases. It’s not even the minimum we need to keep pace.

The health system is at breaking point and the lives of Tasmanians at ever greater risk as a result.  

This Budget has some tinkering at the edges, but for the most part it looks like the status quo in health will continue – and the status quo is a catastrophe. Tasmania has the slowest ambulance response times in the country, years long waits for life-saving surgery and specialist care, and overflowing emergency departments.

This government has crowed about record spending in health every year for a decade, and every year we’ve seen things get worse. That’s because rather than trying to fix the issues in health, the Liberals are instead pretending that a gradual increase in real health costs reflects truly new investment, when it doesn’t.

What Tasmanians want is an ambitious, urgent investment in health staffing and infrastructure. We need hundreds more nurses, paramedics, doctors, and other critical staff, and we need the infrastructure to support them.

No-one is pretending the challenges in health aren’t complex, but nothing will change if the government doesn’t change their approach.

Unfortunately the Liberals seem to be more worried about looking like they are doing something, instead of actually making a difference in the health system.