Today I addressed staff at the Launceston General Hospital, to engage in a dialogue about improving Tasmania’s health system, and to invite and respond to questions from staff.

Today’s meeting, attended by 180 staff, means the Government has now addressed and taken questions in an open forum from staff from all three THOs.

A wide range of issues were discussed, including the massive challenges being faced by the health system and the need to reform our health system to genuinely meet the needs of patients first and foremost.

The Liberal Government is serious about this challenge, and this is not a journey that can be successfully undertaken without help and input from clinicians, health professionals and the community.

We have now held discussions with more than 500 staff across Tasmania’s health system, including hospital staff, senior health department leaders and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.

I have visited all four major Tasmanian public hospitals and have talked to staff across Tasmania’s rural and regional hospitals, including Scottsdale, Beaconsfield, St Helens, King Island, Flinders Island, Rosebery, Deloraine and Queenstown among others.

There is no doubt that we face very difficult challenges in health in Tasmania – the recent COAG report on health shows what we already knew – Labor botched Tasmania’s health system and failed to use their years in office to produce a functional statewide health service. This is a report card on Labor’s 16 years of mismanagement. They get a fail.

This report is further evidence of yesterday’s health system and highlights why the Liberal Government’s plan to rebuild the health system from the ground up is so desperately needed.

If we are going to move beyond yesterday’s health system, we need to be willing to honestly assess the efficiency and viability of every part of our health system – we need to shine a light on everything.

The parts of our system that are delivering for Tasmanians will stand up to assessment – and the parts that don’t need to be fixed.

The Liberal Government is now working through these issues. All Tasmanians, including staff in our health services, are invited to help us move along the path to creating the health system of tomorrow – one that is safe, efficient, effective and sustainable. One that meets the needs of patients in every region first and foremost.

Together, I am confident we can arrive at a healthcare system of which all Tasmanians can be proud.

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