SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND MENTAL HEALTH
MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN
DOCTORS BLOW THE WHISTLE ON TASMANIA’S HEALTH FUNDING CRISIS
Tasmania’s health care crisis has hit boiling point, with local doctors no longer able to contain their frustration over Liberal cuts and neglect.
At a public event in Hobart yesterday, Tasmanian Liberal Health Minister Michael Ferguson was confronted by a senior specialist fed up with the lack of hospital beds and constant surgery delays and cancellations.
The doctor likened Tasmania’s health system to a “car that is up on the blocks” – going nowhere.
Labor welcomes this public intervention and encourages other doctors, nurses and health care professionals to speak up about the appalling state of affairs across Tasmania’s health system.
This should serve as a wake-up call for both the state and federal Liberals – people want them to change course on health funding.
Tasmania’s elective surgery waiting list has blown out under the state and federal Liberals to more than 7000 people.
One in four Tasmanians will wait outside the clinically recommended time – the worst in the country. For knee and hip replacements, cataract extractions and hysterectomies, Tasmanians are waiting much longer than other Australians for the surgery they need.
If the federal Liberals weren’t so busy tearing down prime ministers and stabbing each other in the back they might have time to focus on the things that matter – like Tasmania’s health care crisis.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has cut millions from Tasmania’s hospitals and from the Tazreach specialist service, in addition to forcing up out-of-pocket costs with their ongoing Medicare rebate freeze.
These cuts were a key reason the Liberals lost the Braddon by-election last month – but they don’t seem to have got the message.
A Shorten Labor Government will invest an extra $30 million in halving Tasmania’s elective surgery backlog, will invest more in the state’s hospitals and will reverse the Liberal cuts to Tazreach.
Only Labor cares about the health care of ordinary Tasmanians.
TUESDAY, 28 AUGUST 2018