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Tasmanian Health Forgotten in Federal Budget

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The gradual withdrawal of Commonwealth health funding over the last few years exposes the dire state of Tasmania’s public health system. This Federal Budget continues that trend.

Provision for Tasmania’s hospitals has gone backwards. Funding to address elective surgery waiting lists and for clinical redesign, to enable the State’s hospitals to treat more patients, both end on 1 July.

Joint Health Shows Need For An Emergency Winter Plan

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The Joint Statement on Public Hospitals from all major Tasmanian health bodies shows the critical state of our public hospitals. It's clear there's no room left at the Royal Hobart Hospital for the predictable surge this winter flu season.

There is a coming winter crisis, and there needs to be more money for more beds. The Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson, also needs to sit down with health bodies and work with them on an emergency winter plan.

Ferguson Ignores LGH Expert Review

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The Health Minister's response to the damning expert report into the Launceston General Hospital has been to open 3 single bed rooms and dress up 12 beds that have been in use for a year as “new”.

There are no new beds being funded for medical inpatients at the LGH.  Minister Ferguson has simply lifted the axe that’s been hovering over 12 beds and staff currently in operation in ward 4D.

Report on State's Sick Hospitals Ignored by Liberals

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The report of the expert review on the State's two biggest hospitals was handed to the Health Minister last August.  Armed with this information, he continued to ignore the requests of hospital staff and clinicians to fix the problems. 

The report has been publicly released after the Greens sought a copy through Right to Information.  If the Liberals were really putting "patients first", they would've acted on this report immediately, not kept it hidden for six months. 

Palliative Care Budget Failure

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The Liberals have delivered another serious blow to the public health service with the closure of Palliative Care Tasmania.  Closure of the only palliative care support and education service in Tasmania will have untold effects.

This is a gross government failure and will force dying Tasmanians and their families to use hospital services, rather than having their final days in their own home.

In the last four years Palliative Care Tasmania has helped thousands of Tasmanians through death literacy.  

RHH "Exceeding Capacity" Due to Ferguson's Underfunding

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, has finally admitted the self-evident truth, that “emergency and admissions are exceeding capacity" at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

It’s not the persistent number of admissions at the RHH that’s the problem, it’s the persistent underspending of this Government on beds.

The Minister is working on a “significant new package of measures” to address the demand. For the sake of sick Tasmanians, this should not just be another bandaid package of temporary ward openings.

Hospital Decant Risks Patients’ Safety

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The Medical Ward of Royal Hobart Hospital’s B Block is moving to the “decant” building today.  This is despite senior clinical staff writing to the Premier earlier this month, asking for the B Block closure to be deferred.

Senior RHH staff also met with Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, recently and raised their serious concerns about the decant.  The Minister refused to consider deferring the decant process while the bed issue is sorted. 

Ferguson Left Hospitals Under-Resourced, Running on Empty

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, was continually warned that the current resourcing of general admission wards at the Royal Hobart and Launceston General hospitals is far short of what was needed to cope with the winter patient burden.

Minister Ferguson ignored nurses, doctors, infectious disease specialists and health economists' warnings about the flu season and winter rush.  The state's hospitals are running on empty and he's claiming that's business as usual.


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