Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The Australian Medical Association leaves no room for doubt in their criticism of the Hodgman Liberal government’s plan to steamroll through a new acute mental health facility. If Health Minister Michael Ferguson continues to stonewall concerns from medical professionals, he risks placing people in acute mental distress in a dangerous environment.
The Liberals intend to continue with building a stand-alone ‘Mental Health Observation Unit’ in the Royal Hobart Hospital, despite the unit failing to comply with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' code of ethics. The unit’s design does not meet contemporary standards, has insufficient beds and is not fit for purpose. The AMA notes that no unit of this type exists anywhere else in the country.
The Liberals have created a crisis by starving Tasmania’s health system of funds, and this folly would make it even worse.
The Minister failed to listen to psychiatric staff in the past when they warned him not to cut hospital bed numbers for acute patients by a quarter, and he should learn from his mistake.
Minister Ferguson needs to take immediate action to reverse the decision to proceed with a building disaster that could have terrible impacts on people who most need a safe and nurturing space to recover.