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Continuing Industrial action ordered by ANMF bosses is impacting on patient care and is unacceptable.

Today we have seen action to disrupt surgery at the Launceston General Hospital, and last week patient care was directly undermined by nurses at the Royal Hobart Hospital who refused to staff surgical theatres.

Under last week’s actions, there was an incident where members ignored instructions from Anaesthetics and nursing co-ordinators in relation to treatment of patients requiring emergency surgery.

This behaviour places patients at risk and is entirely unacceptable. The ANMF previously claimed their actions would not hurt our patients.

It is now apparent that the union bosses’ intention is to withdraw necessary care and disadvantage patients who are clinically in need of surgery.

We call on the ANMF bosses to halt this damaging action, and abandon their reckless attempt to prevent all elective surgery at the Mersey Community Hospital from 1 January 2019.

The Government understands that Tasmania’s nurses are the backbone of our health service and we believe our nurses deserve a pay rise, with the Government and ANMF in active negotiations to reach an agreement.

By providing a fair, reasonable and affordable six per cent pay rise over three years, we ensure wages remain in line with inflation, while also enabling the Government to employ even more front line staff so we can further improve patient care.

We will need these extra staff to meet increasing demand on our health service, with Tasmania experiencing the highest increase in Emergency Department presentations of any state or territory last financial year.

We are investing and we’ll keep investing – since March this year, the Government has recruited more than 200 additional health staff, including 130 full-time equivalent nurses and 20 doctors.

Importantly, we are on track to deliver our long-term plan for health, as well as providing immediate and short-term solutions. This includes our record $757 million over the next five-and-a-half years to open nearly 300 new hospital beds and recruit 1,300 additional health staff and new services.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is building Tasmania’s future, working so that all Tasmanians can receive the right health care, in the right place, at the right time.

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