Liberals have heads in sand on health

Tasmanian Labor
  • Tasmanians waiting too long to be admitted
  • Elective surgery wait time ‘worst in the nation’
  • Liberals’ funding ignores reality
  • New data out today from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare again highlights that Tasmanians are waiting too long for elective surgery, and too long to be admitted to hospital after seeking treatment at emergency departments.

    Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said while the data paints a shocking picture, it’s not telling us anything new.

    “The Institute’s data shows Tasmania has the worst median wait time for elective surgery, with 8.7% of people waiting more than a year, compared to a national average of just 2.1%. And leaked health department figures last month showed that almost 11,000 Tasmanians were stuck on waiting lists for surgery – the worst on record.

    “The Institute’s data also shows ten per cent of Tasmanians who presented to emergency departments last year had to wait nearly a day to be admitted.

    “We’ve had a series of reports and data over time telling us what the Institute has called out today. Today’s data is no surprise.”

    Ms Lovell said most recently, data from the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine showed Tasmania’s emergency departments are the worst in the nation in terms of access block and emergency department waits of more than 24 hours.

    “There are serious problems right across Tasmania’s health system. Since taking on the health portfolio Sarah Courtney claims to be listening to expert advice.

    “How many experts have to line up to highlight the issues before this government will take appropriate action?”

    Ms Lovell said the Institute’s data shows over the past year Tasmania has had the lowest increase in demand of any jurisdiction other than the ACT.

    “We know that long wait times in emergency departments lead to worse health outcomes and avoidable deaths. Other states are dealing with a much higher increase in demand in a much more effective way, which begs the question what’s going so terribly wrong in Tasmania?

    “Tasmanians would rightly question whether Will Hodgman’s Government has a plan to deal with the issues crippling Tasmania’s health and hospital system.

    “With health and the ambulance system in the firing line from the Government’s $450 million in budget cuts, we know things will keep getting worse. It’s time for Will Hodgman to reassess his spending priorities and properly fund our health system.”

    Sarah Lovell

    Shadow Health Minister

    /Public Release. View in full here.