The Tasmanian Greens welcome the government’s decision to accept the Tasmanian Industrial Commission’s (TIC) determination on doctors’ salaries as a step towards ensuring Tasmania is able to attract and retain quality doctors and surgeons in the public system, Greens’ Health spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said today.
“The Health Minister’s announcement that a 6.5% pay increase will be awarded is a positive step towards ensuring millions of taxpayer dollars are not squandered each year on expensive locums and secret deals to secure quality medical professionals in the public health system.
“Last year’s Budget papers showed that almost $7 million was spent in the first half of last year on fly-in, fly-out locum doctors in the North West alone. That sum would more than cover the cost this year of the long overdue pay increase for doctors in Tasmania.
“The Minister, however, needs to explain why the government is prepared to accept the Industrial Commission’s determination on doctors’ pay but is refusing to award a pay rise to our paramedics, who were also the subject of a TIC determination that they are entitled to a pay rise.
“Surely as a state we value both our doctors and our paramedics for the important, life saving work they do?
“Why the double standard?
“Mr Ferguson needs to explain to the state’s hard working paramedics why the independent umpire’s decision is being ignored in their case, and why the government apparently places less value on the work they do,” Ms O’Connor.