Peak health body calls out government inaction

Tasmanian Labor
  • Tasmania’s two major hospitals competing for bottom of the pack; access problems up to 500% worse than national levels
  • Patient access block linked to preventable deaths
  • Sarah Courtney missing in action
  • Sarah Courtney and Will Hodgman have been called to account by Australia’s peak body for emergency medicine.

    Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said new access block data released by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine puts the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital at the bottom of the pack.

    “When people can’t be moved into the emergency department for treatment, or out of the emergency department to be admitted to the hospital, their health outcomes suffer and preventable deaths can occur.

    “Access block data for June and September shows chronic overcrowding in Tasmania’s two major hospitals, resulting in long waits for patients, including unacceptable waiting periods of more than 24 hours.

    “In June, the LGH was the nation’s worst hospital; the Royal claimed the dubious honour in September, with a marked deterioration from its June position. It’s a race to the bottom for Tasmania’s public hospitals.

    “While this is going on we have a health minister who’s nowhere to be seen – Sarah Courtney has not fronted the Tasmanian public to talk about any of the crises in health over the past couple of weeks.”

    Ms Lovell said the College has expressed concern that access issues continue to worsen even after a crisis meeting in June aimed at finding ways to improve patient flow.

    “In September Sarah Courtney told us that the strategy had been implemented and that things were improving. What we now know is that at the very same time the Government was telling everyone things were improving, the College was collecting data that showed the opposite.

    “The College has rightly called for a ‘please explain’ from Sarah Courtney at a meeting to be held this week.

    “This is absolutely a leadership issue and that starts at the top with Will Hodgman and Sarah Courtney. Sarah Courtney has been in the role for more than four months now – she has no vision and no plan to address the health crisis. The only plan this Government has is more cuts.”

    Sarah Lovell

    Shadow Health Minister

    /Public Release. View in full here.