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Premier Must Act on St Helen's

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Tags: Health, Mental Health

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The recently announced closure of St Helen’s mental health hospital has caused deep and widespread concern about how Tasmanians in need will access crucial mental health services. The Greens strongly support the calls from unions, healthcare staff, and everyday Tasmanians for Jeremy Rockliff to step in and make sure these life-saving services continue, and are brought into the public health system.

St Helen’s has 31 mental health beds, the only Mother and Baby Unit in Tasmania, and provides other life-saving care. Most of these services are irreplaceable, and will come to an abrupt end in a month.

Given the huge importance of this facility – both for people who use them and as a part of the state’s health system – you’d think Premier Rockliff would do everything possible to intervene and resolve this disturbing closure. Instead he’s sitting on his hands.

The Greens have repeatedly called on the Premier to undertake a proper investigation into buying St Helen’s, investing in necessary upgrades, and making it part of the public system. Shamefully, he’s refused to even take a look, and dismissed a serious cost-benefit assessment out of hand.

It is critical St Helens’ patients are assured of continuity of life-saving care after June 23. The loss of the specialist expertise among nearly 100 staff when St Helens is slated to close also doesn’t bear thinking about.

Jeremy Rockliff has moved heaven and earth for the last year to push through a billion-dollar stadium at Macquarie Point, but he hasn’t even lifted a finger to save vitally important, life-saving mental health services.