Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff’s attempt to diminish the extent of his government’s failure to deliver elective surgery shows how out of touch he has become with the harm and suffering it is causing.
The Premier talked down the Liberals’ broken election promises on elective surgery, saying his government had delivered “slightly fewer” than promised *. In fact the total surgeries delivered has fallen more than 2,500 surgeries short of their commitment in the first year - more than a quarter of the total elective surgery waiting list.
How can the Premier be so out of touch he calls 2,507 life-changing surgeries a ‘slight’ difference? There is no excuse for failing to understand the pain, suffering, and anxiety of thousands of Tasmanians languishing on the elective surgery waiting list. For so many, these procedures are life-saving.
The Liberals took an elective surgery plan to the 2021 election they knew they could never deliver. It repeated their 2018 and 2014 election grand promises about patients being seen on time, but the Liberals have never invested in what’s actually needed to make the health system better.
If Premier Rockliff is serious about giving people life-saving healthcare when they need it - a core public health responsibility - he should stop gaslighting Tasmanians and start investing heavily in recruiting and retaining health workers, and paying them the same as their mainland peers.
* Stated in a story published in 11 September edition of The Mercury.