That the House:—
(a) that although medical admissions at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) have increased at a rate of 3.5 per month over the 2 years between 2014 and 2016, and that to meet that patient demand 122 beds are required, the number of available beds has remained at 92;
(b) that this increased demand has led to medical ward bed shortages and chronic access block;
(c) that up to 80 per cent of patients admitted to a ward at the LGH experience access block;
(e) that it has become common practice for patients to wait up to 70 hours in the LGH Emergency Department for an available ward bed, and that a significant number are actually discharged directly from the Emergency Department;
(e) that it has been identified that patients who spend greater than 24 hours in the Emergency Department will have an inpatient stay 40 per cent longer than patients who wait less than 8 hours for admission;
(f) the comments by Australian Nursing and Midwife Federation State Secretary, Ms Neroli Ellis, that there was a “noticeable improvement” when ward 4D at the LGH was reopened for a 3 month period earlier this year and that the current reopening needs to continue in the long term;
(g) that key stakeholder groups have expressed scepticism as to whether the reopening of ward 4D will be on a permanent basis; and
(h) the statement made by the Minister for Health, Hon. Michael Ferguson MP, in the House of Assembly on 16 August 2016 claiming the reopening of ward 4D as an own goal.
(2) Calls on the Minister for Health to commit to the permanent reopening of ward 4D and to alleviate the concern of the community and healthcare professionals by making a public statement in that regard.