Auditor-General report highlights true crisis in Tasmanian hospitals

Tasmanian Labor
  • Huge blow outs in ambulance ramping, bed block and ED waiting times under Ferguson
  • Minister can no longer hide from or deny extent of crisis
  • Government must give guarantee to adopt AG recommendations
  • Embattled Health Minister Michael Ferguson should be ashamed of a damning new report by the Auditor-General highlighting the true extent of the crisis in Tasmania’s hospital system.

    Shadow Health Minister, Sarah Lovell MLC, said the report found Tasmania’s hospital system was not working effectively to meet the growing demand for ED care.

    “This report by the Auditor-General reinforces what Labor has been saying for some time – Tasmania’s health and hospital system is in crisis, it is chronically underfunded and Minister Ferguson is refusing to listen to the experts to fix the issues,” Ms Lovell said.

    The report findings included:

    • Ambulance ramping across Tasmania’s four major hospitals increased significantly between 2012-13 and 2017-18 by around 149 per cent, far exceeding the 20 per cent growth in ambulance presentations to EDs over the same period.

    • The RHH was significantly bed blocked for almost 93 per cent of the time between June 2018 and January 2019, with patient safety severely and routinely compromised almost once every four days on average. The LGH similarly spent more than 70 per cent of the time during this period at the highest possible level of escalation and in a state of almost constant ‘gridlock’.

    • Patients are increasingly waiting longer in EDs for treatment, with THS’s performance against timeliness KPIs deteriorating markedly over the last five years due to worsening performance at the RHH and LGH.

    • The rate of ED adverse events grew significantly between 2015 and 2018, increasing by around 60 per cent, with most events occurring at the RHH and LGH.

    “Michael Ferguson can no longer deny what is clear to each and every Tasmanian – he has thrown the state’s hospitals into crisis and his chronic underfunding has led to chaos and avoidable deaths.

    “The Auditor-General has called for urgent action to fix these issues and the Minister must work with his office to implement each of his 10 recommendations.”

    Sarah Lovell MLC

    Shadow Health Minister

    /Public Release. View in full here.