When the Hodgman Liberal Government took office we made a commitment to fix the health system – and we’re doing that.
As the Health Minister I can report that, as of today, our elective surgery waiting list across the state has fallen below 6000 for the first time since current record collection commenced in 2005.
The elective surgery waiting list now stands at a record low and has dropped by more than 2500 since the end of June 2014, when we commenced our $76 million investment.
These investments, along with additional Federal Liberal Government funding has allowed more surgeries than ever to be carried out in Tasmania.
Of the 18,500 performed, more than 18,000 were in the state.
Our record achievement has provided much needed surgery for people all around Tasmania, including:
- more than 7300 people from the Royal Hobart Hospital waiting list;
- almost 6900 people from the Launceston General Hospital waiting list; and
- almost 4300 from the North West Regional and Mersey Community Hospital waiting lists.
The number of people waiting longer than clinically recommended has fallen at an even greater rate, from more than 3600 in June 2014, to fewer than 1500 today. That is a reduction of more than 60 per cent.
This is a tremendous result and is a great credit to the many health professionals involved in the care and treatment of Tasmanians needing surgery and is made possible only as a result of the Hodgman Liberal Government and the Federal Liberal Government’s investments and commitment to reform.
I also want to highlight that plans under our One Health System reforms, to offer elective surgery at the Mersey Community Hospital are on track and will be ready to start from tomorrow, July 1.
This will mean the more efficient use of our hospitals and the freeing up of beds at our other hospitals for emergency patients.
We have employed 12 new paramedics in the North West and the Mersey Emergency Department will remain open 24/7.
As I announced at the LGH last weekend, we will see the 12-beds on Ward 4D re-opened next week for as long as required, to allow the hospital to address patient flow issues and seasonal demand. This is the ward closed by the former Labor-Green Government.
With the Budget back on track we can invest more in our health system, with an additional $51 million in frontline health services this year, along with a record $6.4 billion investment over the next four years.