Tasmanian Labor is calling on the government to reactivate stalled health projects in the state’s North to help the region’s COVID-19 recovery.
Labor Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne said the pandemic has confirmed the need for northern health facilities to be upgraded.
“Northern Tasmania’s health woes were well known even before the pandemic, with the number of people waiting for surgery at the Launceston General Hospital already at 4,350 by 20 March,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“And, while we won’t have current numbers until later in the year, we know the pandemic will have had an impact, given the national decision in March to cancel most elective surgeries.
“Even though some have resumed, this disruption will no doubt have caused an even greater backlog of surgeries, putting more pressure on an already-ailing system.
“The interim report from the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council notes that as health services return to normal, there is likely to be a pent-up demand for services deferred during the higher risk period of the pandemic.
“It has also urged the State Government to pay particular attention to building public confidence in the capacity of Tasmania’s health system to deal with future COVID-19 outbreaks.
“This will not be possible without critical regional health infrastructure, not just as a short-term stimulus, but to ensure sustainable infrastructure that delivers the right health care for all Tasmanians, where and when they need it.
“Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package calls for the reactivation of stalled projects like the Launceston Private Hospital colocation and the Launceston Health Precinct to bring our northern health facilities up to scratch.
“These are constructive suggestions that would give communities in Tasmania’s north the health care they deserve. I urge the government to consider and progress these proposals for the sake of everyone in the region.”
Michelle O’Byrne MP
Labor Member for Bass