The Liberal Government is committed to putting patients back where they belong – at the forefront of decision-making in health.
In our first budget we delivered a record investment in health. It is clear, however, that without reform of the system itself we cannot expect to achieve improved health outcomes in the long term.
The fact is that despite the professionalism and dedication of our health professionals, the system is not working, and in its current form cannot work. We cannot continue to ask patients and hard-working staff to battle against a system which has proven it cannot deliver the health outcomes Tasmanians deserve.
Unlike the previous Labor-Green government, we understand that the only goal worth striving for is for better services and better health outcomes – not the approach of longer waiting lists which the previous government oversaw.
That’s why we are undertaking the One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes reform agenda. A key part of this is the White Paper process on Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services. This will ensure that all Tasmanians will have equal access to better health services, regardless of where they live.
Last month we released the Green Paper for discussion and this week we are holding consultation forums across the state to receive direct input from health professionals and consumers into how we can deliver outcomes for patients better than what the system is currently capable of achieving.
The Green Paper starts an informed conversation with the community, clinicians and those who work in our health system on how we can, and must, improve. Public forums on the Green Paper are being held in Burnie, Devonport, Hobart and Launceston this week.
We should be aiming for essential and emergency services delivered at high quality in each region. Equally, we must be willing to question whether complex, high-acuity services provided irregularly in multiple locations is efficient or even safe.
Central to our reform plans will be the development of a Clinical Services Profile, describing where services can be located in a manner that gives all Tasmanians access to better services.
The Liberal Government is acting decisively in health. We’ve established the Health Council of Tasmania to provide high level advice to the Government. We’ve got the redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital back on track. In July this year three Tasmanian Health Organisations will be merged into one Tasmanian Health Service, creating a more efficient service and saving up to $21 million to be reinvested back into an improved health system.
Tasmanians should no longer accept the status quo where our health outcomes are among the worst in the country. Real, genuine reform is needed and the Liberal Government is working with the community to develop a shared understanding of the problem and a commitment to successfully achieve the much-needed reforms.
Consultation dates and venues:
Wednesday 21 January 2015: Hobart Public Forum 5:00 PM – 7:00, PM Hobart City Hall
Thursday 22 January 2015: Devonport Public Forum 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre – Town Hall Theatre
Burnie Public Forum 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Burnie Arts and Function Centre
Friday 23 January 2015: Launceston Public Forum 4:00 – 6.00 PM Grand Chancellor
The Green Paper and other consultation information can be found online at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/onehealthsystem
A final White paper on reform will be released in March.