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Want of confidence in Minister for Health
Type of vote: Motion (Other)
Moved by: Labor
Tuesday, 30 April 2019
Subject of Debate
A Motion being made and the Question being proposed that Ms White have leave to make a Motion without notice.
That the House:-
(1) Has no confidence in the Minister for Health, Hon Michael Ferguson MP.
(2) Notes the Minister’s first action was to endorse a budget that cut $210 million out of health and human services and he has continued to chronically underfund health, with less money to be spent on health next year than has been spent this year.
(3) Notes that in the five years he has been Minister for Health the state of Tasmania’s health system has gotten worse and that he is unfit to continue in the role.
(4) Acknowledges the comments from Doctors in the Tasmanian Health system who have collectively raised concern about the unsafe work environment, substandard patient care and the number of avoidable deaths because of the crisis in Tasmania’s health system.
(5) Highlights with concern the unsafe levels of ambulance ramping which has seen ramping at the Royal Hobart Hospital increase by 500% in the past three years and notes the evidence which shows ramping causes morbidity and mortality.
(6) Recognises that regularly every Southern Tasmanian Ambulance Tasmania crew is ramped at the hospital, causing up to 13 outstanding 000 cases to go un-responded and in such instances there are no paramedic crews available to respond to calls and that regions have no coverage.
(7) Notes that Doctors have stated that night shifts are now “categorically unsafe for patients and medical staff alike”, that Doctors are currently working beyond their scope of practice, experience and skill set and that the workplace is not fit for purpose, and that they “anticipate increased patient complaints, litigation and coronial investigations as a result.”
(8) Acknowledges the incredibly sad occasion when a woman miscarried in the Emergency Department waiting room in a chair in 2016, the occasion in 2018 when a patient was found deceased in the bushes outside the hospital and the recent tragedy of the death of a 70 year old man in the busy Emergency Department.
(9) Points out with concern that mental health patients are languishing for up to 7 days in the Emergency Department and that while they are waiting for a bed they psychologically deteriorate, self-harm and attempt suicide.
(10) Reminds Members that the Minister for Health cut the number of acute mental health beds and despite a Coronial Report finding this to be a contributing factor in the death of a patient, he has not reversed this cut.
(11) Further reminds Members that the Royal Hobart Hospital lost psychiatric medicine accreditation in 2017, the Launceston General Hospital lost emergency medicine accreditation in 2018 and on both occasions those hospitals lost staff.
(12) Further reminds Members that the Minister for Health delayed the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment by a year, he removed local decision making from hospitals and introduced a new governance structure that was subsequently abandoned at significant cost to the taxpayer.
(13) Notes the Minister for Health has denied women access to legal reproductive health services in the public health system.
(14) Notes the Minister for Health was happy for patients to be placed in storage rooms with hand bells rather than in dedicated hospital beds.
(15) Notes that on two occasions in the last six months this House has voted to establish Health Roundtables with key stakeholders and all sides of politics to examine solutions to the health crisis and that the Minister for Health has done nothing to progress these cross-party efforts and has deliberately ignored the will of this House.
(16) Reminds Members that Ministerial responsibility is a fundamental tenant of Westminster democracy that means Ministers must take ultimate responsibility for failures in their portfolios.
(17) Further notes that the Minister for Health is incapable of looking after the health of Tasmanians and that whatever excuse he offers it is too late after five years of neglect.
Amendment - 30 Apr 2019 (Negatived)
Amendment to include refusing to send a representative to the Australian Capital Territory pill testing trial in the list of reasons for want of confidence.
Other - 30 Apr 2019 (Passed)
Moving to suspend Standing Orders for the purpose of moving a Motion Without Notice.