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Winter Plan to ease health system pressure

Winter Plan to ease health system pressure

The Tasmanian Government has developed a comprehensive Winter Demand Management Plan for 2019 to ensure we are as prepared as possible to support patients and health staff during the winter months.

Implementation of the Plan has already commenced, and it includes:

  • Low-cost flu vaccinations for children aged 10 and over by community pharmacists without an appointment;
  • Opening 12 additional beds at the Mersey Community Hospital to support the North and North-West;
  • Community Rapid Response Service in the South and North-West to reduce hospital presentations and admissions;
  • Better engagement with aged care homes to achieve safe and appropriate care and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions; and
  • More private hospital beds through an improved access arrangement for the RHH.

About 300,000 Tasmanians can now receive a low-cost flu vaccination in many pharmacies across the state, with children aged 10 and over able to receive their vaccination from a pharmacist, in an Australian first. Previously, pharmacists could only deliver flu shots to Tasmanians aged 18 and over.

Doctors advise the best protection against the flu is a vaccination, which is why we have worked hard to make it so much more accessible for families.

All Tasmanians over six months can have a vaccination, and many people are eligible for free immunisation – visit www.flu.tas.gov.au for more information.

Tasmania’s health agencies have worked together in the lead-up to winter to increase capacity at each of our major hospitals.

The THS is also working to reduce bottlenecks, such as the discharge of medications and diagnostic testing. New processes will include smoother patient flow and better demand management for beds and for inter-facility transfers.

A copy of the Winter Plan can be found at http://www.health.tas.gov.au/about_the_department/our_plans_and_strategies/winter_plan

Further investment in regional health services: Liberals deliver the new St Helens District Hospital

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to continuing to build a better health service right across Tasmania, and we are delivering on our plan to invest in essential services.

Our brand new $12.1 million St Helens District Hospital, officially opened today, is a purpose-built facility on Annie Street which has been designed to cater for the current and future needs of the St Helens and greater East Coast community.

Our new hospital features 10 inpatient beds, four emergency bays, four consultation rooms and two physio rooms. It also provides allied health, radiology, community nursing, oral health, education and training, community nursing and treatment, and community activities.

The new hospital provides greater security of access to healthcare services by eliminating the risk of flooding events that have been experienced on the current hospital site.

Importantly, the East Coast community will have a most dignified palliative care facility, which will give families access to better services that can and should be available in the local area.

This has been a wonderful joint effort, with many in Break O’Day getting personally involved in the project. In an extraordinary effort, the St Helens Hospital Auxiliary raised more than $100,000 towards the new hospital, and furnished the palliative care family suite and patient rooms, with generous community donations. The Government pays special tribute to the Auxiliary for the exceptional efforts they have given to support the new district hospital.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a comprehensive six-year health plan for Tasmania, which includes opening hundreds more beds across the state, employing more than 1000 additional frontline staff and building vital new health infrastructure like this so that all Tasmanians can get the care they need, when and where they need it.

It’s a far cry from the days when regional hospitals were being downgraded and closed under Labor. In contrast, we have committed to keeping our regional hospitals, and supporting them to provide more health care to local communities.

New Digital Check-Up Tool to help small businesses grow

New Digital Check-Up Tool to help small businesses grow

Tasmania’s 37,300 small to medium businesses have a new Digital Check-Up Tool to help check the health and effectiveness of their websites and attract more customers to their businesses.

As part of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s improved Digital Ready for Business program, the new Check-up Tool provides Tasmanian businesses with a quick and comprehensive diagnosis of their online presence by simply asking them to enter their website address.

The Digital Check-Up tool gives local business websites a fast and simple health check and provides analysis and tips on search engine optimisation, accessibility, performance, mobile responsiveness and social profile.

Importantly, the Digital Check-Up Tool has been designed and built locally by Tasmanian firm Neon Jungle, specifically with local businesses in mind.

This is just one more way that the Hodgman Liberal Government is delivering targeted advice to Tasmanian businesses on the what, why and how to improve their digital presence.

The Digital Ready for Business program continues to deliver real outcomes and assistance for Tasmanian small businesses and helps retailers improve their digital skills, understanding and confidence which will empower them to make better digital economy business decisions.

This year alone about 600 Tasmanians have attended a Digital Ready event or coaching session, and the Digital Ready Website has been viewed over 10,000 times.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to getting behind and backing Tasmanian businesses, and in particular small businesses, to create jobs and to grow our state.

The Digital Check-Up tool can be accessed via https://checkup.digitalready.tas.gov.au/

Kingston Health Centre treating patients in the community

The new Kingston Health Centre is now open and providing vital care closer to home for thousands of Tasmanians, taking pressure off our hospitals, especially the Royal Hobart Hospital.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to increasing in-community care in areas like the high-growth Kingborough and Huon municipalities, where there are high rates of chronic conditions, emergency department presentations and hospital admissions.

That’s why we delivered $6.5 million to construct the new Kingston Health Centre, which delivers services including community nursing, physiotherapy, oral health, child health and parenting services, social work and podiatry. There are also a range of visiting services, including speech pathology, wound care, continence and ante-natal care, with up to 25 staff providing care at the centre each day.

Built on the former Kingston High School site, the new energy-efficient centre’s modern design allows for expansion as the local community continues to grow.

It already has additional capacity to increase some existing services, such as oral health, as well as accommodate some new services like Pathology South.

The Kingston Health Centre dovetails with the Clarence Integrated Health Centre and Glenorchy Health Centre to provide more health services closer to the communities where Tasmanians live.

New Support for our remarkable Emergency Service Volunteers

The Hodgman Liberal Government greatly values the contribution of our 5500 emergency service volunteers, which is why we are supporting them with a $2 million Volunteer Support Fund.

The extra funding for volunteer Tasmania Fire Service brigades and State Emergency Service units allows them to apply for non-essential equipment, training, recruitment activities and station upgrades.

Today we can announce that $256,000 has been allocated in Round 1 of the 2018-19 grants program with 66 volunteer brigades and 9 SES units successful in gaining funding for items like high pressure cleaners, microwaves, generators and white goods to make volunteer stations more functional and comfortable.

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2019 Anzac Day Commemoration Service address

Returned service men and women; Families of service personnel; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen; Boys and Girls –

Love has the power to cause a genuine response in every human heart.

You may have heard these words: “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three. But the greatest of these is love.”

In the hateful theatres of war in Western Europe, North Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, each conflict came at a huge cost to peace-loving Australian communities during every quarter of the 20th Century.

And yet, those many Australians and her allies caught up in the defence of our freedom, have been people who loved their country and loved their families back home.

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