Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
We welcome the release of the feasibility study into Urgent Care Centres - after more than 18 months of it sitting on the Health Minister’s desk. The Greens have been calling for this report to be released, and for community care to be prioritised, for months now.
The report makes it clear that Urgent Care Centres not only improve community safety, and the quality and availability of services, they also provide significant cost savings to the health system.
Given the report’s strongly positive findings, it’s unclear why the Liberals haven’t acted sooner. They have failed in their responsibility to regional Tasmanians by letting this report gather dust for more than a year and a half.
Tasmanians are desperate for solutions that could help improve the health system. Urgent Care Centres reduce pressure on emergency departments by treating some patients locally so they never need to travel to one.
Minister Courtney must now progress the establishment of Urgent Care Centres as a priority.
The Launceston General and Royal Hobart Hospitals have been crippled by years of Liberal neglect – as has the ambulance service. Urgent Care Centres would reduce the load, and most importantly, provide better, safer outcomes for everyone.
When it comes to the next step, Tasmanians need more than positive phrases from the Health Minister, and no more delays.
Communities need a commitment from the government to take the matter seriously, and a timeline for action.
As well as consultation with communities about the placement and integration of Urgent Care Centres, we also expect the upcoming State Budget to include meaningful funding to roll out these facilities.