Greens Leader, Kim Booth MP today called on the Liberal government to reassess the funding cuts proposed for the Multi-Purpose Health Centre at Oatlands.
“The Midlands Multi-Purpose Health Centre provides crucial health care for local Midlands residents, as well as the travelling public and patients coming from the East Coast,” Mr Booth said.
“To cut their funding and see them lose a nurse and their ambulance service is just another example of how out of touch this government is with the everyday needs of the community.”
“Will Hodgman took a promise to the election to support rural and regional communities and these proposed cuts fly right in the face of that promise.”
“Health Minister Michael Ferguson indicated via interjection in Parliament today, as I tabled the attached Motion, that claims the Health Centre faced further funding cuts was “nonsense” and so I am now calling on Minister Ferguson to publicly rule out any funding cuts and to reassure the Oatlands community that they will not be losing any medical or nursing staff, or their ambulance service,” Mr Booth said.
Text of Motion tabled by Greens Leader Kim Booth MP:
That this House;
Notes with interest the Liberal Party election promise to “strengthen our rural economy and sustain our regional community services”;
Notes with alarm the slashing of health services across the board by both the State and Federal Liberal governments;
Recognises the Liberal government’s attack on rural health services is a false economy;
Notes with further alarm that the Midlands Multi-Purpose Health Centre at Oatlands is now squarely in the firing line to have its funding cut;
Acknowledges the essential health and wellness services provided by the Health Centre, including providing services to the broader Midlands community, the travelling public and patients from as far away as the East Coast;
Notes concerns that the cuts in funding to the Health Centre will see the loss of one full-time equivalent nurse, the restriction on nursing staff with regard to permitted hours of work – which are inconsistent with those applied at major facilities – and the loss of the centralised ambulance service;
Notes cuts and changes to services made under the previous Labor government include the cessation of the contract the Health Centre had with the local Oatlands pharmacy, as well as the outsourcing of food for the aged care facility to a facility in Cambridge;
Notes with concern the potential for the Oatlands pharmacy to close due to loss of income due to the combined loss of contract and the Federal Liberal government moves to introduce price disclosure requirements;
Recognises the real and distinct life- threatening ramifications should Tasmania be left without a central ambulance service, forcing patients to wait for emergency transport from afar; and
Further that this House:
Calls on the Liberal Government to adhere to its election promise to support rural and regional communities and to immediately reassess the funding of the Midlands Multi-Purpose Health Centre and associated health services based in Oatlands.