Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson
The Greens welcome the clear pathway presented through the Public Health Policy Reform plan announced by major health agencies today. Without refocusing overall budget priorities into keeping people healthy, and making long-term plans, Tasmania’s health measures will slip even further behind the rest of Australia.
The Liberals promised to rebuild "a broken health system", but instead they’ve starved it of funds, and refused to respond to senior clinicians' concerns about emergency and psychiatric services. They’ve done no long-term planning on the major issues of staffing levels, bed numbers, and health sector training for the future.
It's hardly surprising the Liberals have removed all trace of their 2014 election commitment to make Tasmania the healthiest state in Australia by 2025. It slipped off Liberal Party websites as Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, removed funding needed to keep Tasmanians healthy and well.
Minister Ferguson spends a lot of time talking himself and the Liberals up, while the situation in hospitals gets more and more serious. The Liberals are not prioritising funds into health, and it’s left the system at breaking point.
The Greens prioritise the health of Tasmanians. Our Alternative Budget included a commitment to fund the core elements of the Public Health Reform plan, including an additional 200 beds statewide, a staff recruitment plan, and a reform of the Tasmanian Health Service management to make it responsive to local hospital and community needs.
Instead of attacking the other political parties, the Liberals should start to listen to those in the health sector. If those voices hadn’t been ignored, Tasmanians wouldn’t be waiting in emergency rooms for so long, patients wouldn’t be unsure of getting treatment, and there would be no need for such large health reforms.