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Rationalise Tasmanian Health Organisations

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 8 June 2014

Tags: Federal Budget, Health

The confronting picture painted by the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report of public hospital performance in Tasmania reinforces the insanity of the Abbott Government's massive cuts to health, Greens' Health spokesperson, Cassy O'Connor MP, said today.

"Given the results, now is not the time to be gouging resources and $232 million in Commonwealth funding over six years from our public health system,” Ms O’Connor said.

"The data from the AIHW demonstrates that Tasmania's health system requires increased, targeted funding, along with a rationalization of the three Tasmanian Health Organisations (THOs) into one, and a complete clinician-led redesign of patient pathways.”

"Clearly, the three THO structure in a state the size of Tasmania is not working. Minister Ferguson needs to deal with that specific duplication and inefficiency as a matter of priority.”

"Worryingly, the data tells us that the dramatic loss of skilled doctors, surgeons and nurses is having a negative impact on patient care.”

"We have some of the best medical expertise in the country, practicing in - and across - the public and private systems, here in Tasmania. We should be able to deliver the highest quality health care.”

"Minister Michael Ferguson has vowed to 'fix' the health system in Tasmania. We all hope he succeeds. There are seven key steps we believe he needs to take.”

1. lobby the Federal Government intensely to protect Commonwealth health funding and incentive payments to Tasmania's public hospitals

2. rationalize the three THOs into one

3. require more efficient purchasing systems across the Health system to avoid waste and duplication

4. initiate a complete clinician-led overhaul of the public hospital system with efficient, high quality patient care as the primary goal

5. consult with and engage public health patients in the process and learn from their insights and experience of the system

6. ensure strong leadership and reform-based skills are promoted within the Department of Health

7. negotiate fair wages for medical professionals in the public health system to prevent further drain into the private system

"These reforms would go a long way towards improving public hospital performance to the significant benefit of patients in Tasmania," Ms O'Connor said.