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Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Tags: Health Crisis, Health

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Speaker, questions are being asked about why, with the Pharmacy Scope of Practice Review which is looking to extend the scope of practice not yet completed, the Government just announced a change to the scope of practice of pharmacists?

Mr Rockliff - Getting things done.

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, right, but you said you have a review process and consultation. The RACGP only heard about that with a phone call the day before, just before it was announced. A massive change and no consultation on that. They did not know that was coming. You can talk about consultation.

I thank the Labor Party for having this MPI on health today because I want to call out the Premier for his continual gaslighting about the true state of Tasmania's health system. Not just that, his outright dishonesty.

In Question Time yesterday he said to the Leader of the Opposition, 'the commitments we made in 2021 on elective surgery, in actual fact we have exceeded those commitments'. That is not true. In 2021 the Government set five targets under the state-wide action plan for elective surgeries. With one year of the plan to complete the Government has not only not exceeded any of those targets, they have failed on all of them. It was completely untrue for the Premier to claim yesterday that they have exceeded those commitments.

On admission volumes the Premier set a target of 22 800 surgeries for the year. They missed that target by 2500. Not exactly a close run, especially for all those people suffering and waiting for likely life-saving treatment. That is what category one is about. On the percentage of people seen on time, the Government set a target of 74 per cent. The result was an appalling 57 per cent. On the average overdue wait time, the target was 60 days. Your result, minister, was more than four times that - 253 days.

On the number of patients waiting over the boundary time, your target, minister, was 1941 people. Instead the number, as you would know, is more than 4500. On the number of patients who have been waiting for surgery since prior to 2019 you set a target of zero. We have actually seen 116 Tasmanians still waiting for surgery. People who have been on the waiting list for three-and-a-half years.

It is one thing to have bad performance but it is another thing to cover it up. These results are so bad for the Government that they have taken the Orwellian decision to remove those details from the progress report for the elective surgery plan. If that is not an obvious admission through absence of their hypocrisy in this matter I do not know what is. Are you gaslighting Tasmanians about the true state of health? You are now actively covering up the truth.

Somehow the Premier pretends to us, and to Tasmanians, that they have exceeded their commitments. He has drunk his own Kool-Aid and it is making us all sick. It is making us sick to have a Minister for Health who is utterly dishonest to Tasmanians about the true state. The Tasmanian Health Services failed to meet its target on 42 of its 62 KPIs. That is a 68 per cent fail rate. That is bad enough, but to have the pretence, the falsehood that they have met every election commitment on elective surgeries is going far too far.

It is bad enough that Tasmanians are suffering from your denialism that the COVID-19 pandemic still exists. You said it again this morning, 'during the pandemic', as though it was finished, as though we do not have a virus circulating through the planet changing to new variants. You know during this winter there is every prospect that there will be new variants in Tasmania and you have no plan for safe filtration in our hospitals, in our public facilities, in our schools, where children are wholly unvaccinated under the age of five. You have no public campaign to encourage people to get their latest booster. We have enormous numbers of Tasmanians who have only had two vaccines.

Only 38 per cent of patients attending the Royal Hobart Hospital emergency department last year were seen within clinically recommend time. That is down from 50 per cent last year. That is a massive drop in one year.

More than half the patients who were admitted to the LGH emergency department had to wait more than eight hours and the department's previous annual reports documented the percentage of patients with an ED stay longer than 24 hours. That statistic used to be there, but again the minister has overseen the removal of that information so Tasmanians do not know the true horror that is happening in the Launceston General Hospital ED. It is appalling to have a Minister for Health covering up information through overseeing its removal. Ramping in Tasmania is the worst it has ever been.

We are calling out your falsehoods. We are calling out your misinformation and we are calling out your gaslighting and asking for honesty about the true state of the health system.