Newly installed Health Minister Sarah Courtney must tell Tasmanians today how she will immediately address the worsening health crisis after shocking reports have exposed unprecedented pressure on ambulance services.
Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said Ms Courtney needed to act immediately on the distressing report that a family member of a sick patient was forced to drive an ambulance to the Royal Hobart Hospital because ambulance crews were so short staffed.
“The fact that failed Health Minister Michael Ferguson has been dumped from the critical health portfolio does not alter the fact that the health and hospital system remains in a state of unprecedented crisis,” Ms Lovell said.
“Ms Courtney cannot ignore the frightening fact that paramedics have been left so under-resourced that they are being placed in the dangerous and distressing position of attending emergencies alone with no option but to ask civilians to drive their vehicles.
“That’s not safe for paramedics or patients.
“Ms Courtney needs to explain today to Tasmanians how she will address this issue and how she will now fund the health and hospital system – including the annual $100 million funding black hole – now that she has taken over from the failed Mr Ferguson.
“Ms Courtney has a huge job to do to fix Mr Ferguson’s mess and she needs to guarantee Tasmanians that she will be demanding more funding from the Treasurer and the Premier.
“She must show that she is more willing than her failed predecessor to listen, particularly to the health professionals at the frontline.
“Labor is ready and willing to work with Ms Courtney and the government to fix the health crisis.
“Labor is ready to provide constructive ideas to put patients first.”
Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Health Minister