An additional 39 beds will be permanently opened in the North by the Hodgman Liberal Government.
The State Budget 2017-18 includes a record $7 billion investment in health and delivers more beds, with 19 at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) and 20 at the John L Grove rehabilitation centre, and more permanent hospital staff for the North.
Across the North we will employ more than 85 staff, including more than 45 nurses, and a range of doctors, allied health and support workers.
We are Building Tasmania’s Future by permanently re-opening the LGH’s Ward 4D – callously closed by the former Labor-Greens Government that put unwarranted pressure on the hospital – and will increase the ward from 12 to 19 beds at a cost of $35.8 million.
The Hodgman Government is also upgrading the hospital’s 4K children’s ward – which has been untouched for more than 30 years.
The Budget has allocated $7.7 million, inclusive of funding previously announced, to reconfigure the ward and make it more user friendly to provide a better level of support for our youngest Tasmanians with mental illness.
The State Budget has also ensured future certainty for the community with the Hodgman Government’s $20 million commitment to save the John L. Grove rehabilitation centre after Federal funding expires in July this year, which will help patients and secure 70 jobs.
This 20-bed, slow-to-recover centre has long been important to Northern residents as it has helped to rebuild lives and give people back some independence.
We are also investing $3 million to build a new Campbell Town Ambulance Station which will include accommodation for relieving paramedics.
And statewide, Ambulance Tasmania will receive $21.5 million over four years to continue to implement lifesaving care changes for patients.
Other health measures to benefit the North and announced in the Budget include: $16.9 million for the roll out of the One Health System reforms, $16 million for mental health initiatives, $9 million for a second Ambulance Tasmania Aero Medical and Retrieval Service and Tasmania Police Search and Rescue helicopter and $6 million towards a Tasmanian Health Service Statewide Operations and Command Centre.
The Hodgman Government has worked hard to get the Budget back on track and this has allowed us to make the biggest ever funding boost to health services with more hospital beds, more staff and improvements to important health infrastructure.