Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
The latest Report on Government Services (ROGS) data for Health confirms Tasmania is in the midst of a health crisis that is worsening under the Liberals.
During their seven years in office, the Liberals have massively underfunded essential services, including the health system.
The data confirms Tasmanian public hospital patients are waiting longer for treatment, and too often returning with worse outcomes.
More than half of Category 1 patients on the elective surgery waiting list, who need the most urgent care, experienced wait times of more than the recommended 30 days in 2019-20. A shocking 75% of category 2 patients on the list waited longer than the recommended 90 days.
In 2015-16, the Liberals’ first year in office, 16% of category 1 waited more than 30 days for surgery.
These patients are labelled ‘urgent’ for a reason - if they’re not seen within the recommended timeframe, they are at growing risk of more serious illness, complications, or death.
When elective surgery waiting times have been raised publicly in the last six months, the Liberals pointed to the COVID-19 suspension of non-urgent surgeries. The ROGS confirms the trend began long before coronavirus.
Tasmania’s emergency departments were the worst performing in the country – with a third of emergency patients waiting longer than they should for care.
This is despite the best efforts of dedicated health professionals, who are doing the best they can for their patients, but are limited by a government that puts spin over substance and funding for hospitals.
Our ambulances are the slowest in country, with median waiting times of 13.8 minutes – two minutes longer than the next worst jurisdiction. Ambulance response times were dropping to 2014-15, when the Liberals came to office, when they started rising.
The ROGS also reported high rates of unplanned readmission rates for many procedures, like hysterectomies and hip replacements.
Tasmanian patients are waiting too long for emergency help, treatment and surgery, and are too often ending up back in hospital.
The ROGS confirm the Liberals’ underfunding and mismanagement of the health system is putting Tasmanian lives at risk.