The Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, has an obligation to release Treasury's analysis of the proposed Cenotaph hospital in light of his decision to reject a new hospital for Tasmania, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.
“Given the magnitude of Cabinet's decision to continue with the RHH redevelopment, and the impact this will have on generations of Tasmanians, it is not unreasonable for Mr Ferguson to release Treasury’s advice,” Ms O’Connor said.
“It is Cabinet’s decision whether documents put before it are released, and given the proponent has no problems with the Treasury assessment being released, there is no reasons for the Minister not to do so.”
“This is clearly an issue of valid public interest.”
“The danger here is that Tasmanians may be forced to settle for second-best due to a deeply cautious and conservative Health Minister and Cabinet.”
“We are seeing a trend of extreme caution on many policy fronts from this Health Minister, including his do-nothing approach to medicinal cannabis, and the impact of Ice drug use in the north-west and now knocking back a greenfields hospital proposal.”
“There will be many people working at the RHH today, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, who will be very concerned about this outcome and will be keen to see the evidence upon which the Minister and Cabinet's decision is based.”
“Those working at the RHH know it is an old building complex riddled with asbestos, problems with decanting patients, and ultimately it is not a built-for purpose contemporary hospital.”
“Tasmanians need to know why a greenfields proposal with the apparent potential to provide a purpose built, green design hospital capable of serving for 50 to 100 years was rejected.”
"There is no need for secrecy here.”
“Otherwise staff at the Royal and the wider community will fear they're being told to settle for second best without knowing any more than the Minister chooses to share from Treasury's advice,” Ms O’Connor said.