The crisis in Tasmania’s health and hospital system continues and will get worse.
This Sunday marks a year since the Hodgman Liberals and Health Minister Michael Ferguson went to the state election with promises that are now proven were not to be believed.
Today Labor held the second meeting of its Wellbeing, Care and Community Development Industry Advisory Council which is working on policies to fix the health crisis and to make life better for Tasmanians in care.
Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said while Michael Ferguson had told Tasmanians he would increase health funding, it has now been revealed it would actually decrease, with a $100m black hole, and Tasmanians are still unable to access adequate health and emergency health care.
Ms Lovell said the Minister’s disastrous handling of the biggest infrastructure project in the state – the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment – continues unabated.
“It’s unacceptable that a year after Michael Ferguson promised increased funding to address the health crisis he created, that crisis continues without any end in sight,” Ms Lovell said.
“It’s not good enough that he blatantly broke that promise with the Liberal’s recent Revised Estimates Report showing the government is forecasting to reduce spending on the health system, with $15 million less than the previous year.
“It’s unacceptable that Tasmania’s emergency departments remain at breaking point, patients are queued outside hospitals due to a lack of beds and mental health patients cannot get the treatment when and where it is needed.
“It’s not good enough that Michael Ferguson remains in charge of the $698 million Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment when he has overseen an on-going series of debacles, the latest of which is his arrogant ignorance of frontline doctors who are telling him the design will not work.
“It’s not acceptable that Tasmanian women are – on Michael Ferguson’s watch – still unable to access legal terminations of pregnancy more than a year after the last Tasmanian clinic closed.
“It’s horrifying that last month’s Productivity Commission Report on Government Services reveals Tasmanians are leaving hospital and then suffering adverse effects at the highest rate in the country.
“Doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and other medical staff are doing an extraordinary job in unnecessarily difficult circumstances created by Michael Ferguson’s continued underfunding of the health system.
“His $100 million funding black hole is responsible for patients continuing to be trapped in emergency departments for days at a time and for staff being pushed to breaking point.
“A year after the election when Tasmanians were conned by false promises around the fundamental human right to an adequate health system, Premier Hodgman must tell them today: Does he still have confidence in Michael Ferguson after his catastrophic performance as Health Minister?”
Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Health and Preventative Health Care Minister