Mersey Community Hospital is in safe hands under Liberals

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Health

The future of the Mersey Community Hospital (MCH) is secure under the Tasmanian Liberal Government, which is why we are continuing to invest in the Hospital with $41.1 million allocated in the 2021-22 State Budget for infrastructure works.

This includes capital works for the establishment of our Rural Medical Workforce Unit, to support the recruitment and retention of permanent doctors for the region.

Labor, on the other hand, ran the Mersey into the ground and their former Shadow Health Minister said the hospital only existed because of “political pork barrelling and parochialism” (1) and stated that Tasmania has “too many hospitals” (2).

Tascorp’s investment strategies for the Mersey Community Hospital Fund will provide for payments to the Government, up to and including, the 10th year, which is consistent with what the Government said when we secured a record funding deal for the hospital.

It’s clear that Dr Broad has been asleep at the wheel. As has been known for many years, the Mersey was always going to be treated the same as every other hospital in the State in line with the current Commonwealth-State funding split.

In fact, in last year’s Scrutiny hearings when his Leader Ms White asked the same question about the 10th year dividend, Labor was advised that it was estimated to be approximately $16 million. The estimate for the 10th year dividend has since increased by $5 million to $21.6 million.

This is not unusual, as fluctuations in the annual rate of return occur from time to time given changes in market conditions.

When the fund comes to an end as expected, provision for replacement funding will be made in the State Budget to ensure there is no impact on the Mersey’s operations and services.

It is blindingly obvious that this would occur – where did Labor think the ongoing operations of the Mersey were going to be funded from?

The Mersey Community Hospital has always been safe under the Tasmanian Liberal Government.

The question is would it be safe under Labor?

1 Tweet from September 2016

2 Tweet from June 2015

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