Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The Health Minister's "bold plan" for Tasmania to have the best health by 2025 is weak, toothless and myopic. $6.4 million over five years into his Strategic Health Plan is a pittance, compared with what's needed.
Less than $1.3 million a year for illness prevention is a far cry from the "strong investment" Minister Ferguson promised.
The Hodgman Government has bowed to pressure from the tobacco industry and business sector by walking away from smoking laws. They've backed away from their commitment to protect young people who are taking up smoking and facing a life of ill health.
This plan is a reflection of a Health Minister who has long been ignoring people's stories and the evidence, which was presented once again at today's Tasmanian Health Conference.
It's a slap in the face for the health professionals, who are calling for a health system that focuses on the "cause of the causes". They know better than anyone that relying on education only won't be enough to stem the patient flow in our emergency departments.
Minister Ferguson's plan to spend just $240,000 a year on smoking education is nowhere near enough. It won't do much to stop the one in ten Tasmanians expected to die from smoking related-diseases.
70,000 Tasmanians already smoke and the rate of young people taking up the habit has increased by nearly 7% in the last few years.
Minister Ferguson talks tough on smoking, and on illness prevention, but he has walked away from any real action. Michael Ferguson has failed Tasmania as Health Minister.