The August budget will keep our election promises, fix the budget mess and lay the foundations for a better future.

As part of laying the foundations for a better future the Liberal Government will deliver on its commitment to fix Tasmania’s ailing health system by giving it a thorough overhaul.

Labor’s legacy is a health system which has failed Tasmanians. Patients are waiting too long for services and the needs of staff aren’t being met.

Tasmanians have been let down by a system which is broken.

Today, we begin putting the pieces back together with the release of our One State, One Health System; Better Outcomes plan.

We want to give Tasmanians a complete, state-wide system which places the interests of patients back where they belong, at the forefront of every decision.

Today I am announcing a thorough overhaul of our health system with a four point reform plan.

After operating for two years, it is clear the model of three Tasmanian Health Organisations does not work. Financial blow outs, failures with governance and leadership and bureaucratic duplication have become all too common.

The first step is to combine the three THOs into a single state-wide organisation – the Tasmanian Health Service – to deliver coordinated health across the state to generate better outcomes for all Tasmanians.

Based in Launceston the THS will become operational from July 1, 2015.

By being based in Launceston, the THS will deliver a better balanced distribution of health bureaucracy between the North and the South with the Department of Health and Human Services being based in Hobart as well as the Royal Hobart Hospital, the state’s major hospital.

One health system will make waiting lists more efficient, deliver better patient services and save $21 million over the first four years by reducing waste, duplication and administration costs.

The establishment of the THS will not impact on any hospitals. The integrity of our four major hospitals will be maintained and no regional hospitals will close.

Step two will see the local people having an even greater say in how health services are delivered through the establishment of the Health Council of Tasmania.

This council will give clinicians, health staff, stakeholders and the community the voice they deserve to help create a better system.

By working closely with the existing Clinical Advisory Groups, the Health Council of Tasmania will ensure those who use and understand our health system are the ones shaping its future.

Step three will see the Department of Health and Human Services undergo a comprehensive review to reduce duplication and better align the department’s structure and functions.

This will deliver savings which will be redirected where they’re needed most – frontline health services.

The fourth part of our overhaul of the health system will be delivered in three tranches.

The release of an Issues Paper detailing the Liberal government’s vision for health reform when the budget is handed down next month seeking public submissions. Flowing from the Issues Paper will be the development of a Green Paper to further inform the government on how to deliver even better health services. The final tranche will be a White Paper outlining the Government’s position which will then feed into the 2015-16 budget.

Our One State, One Health System; Better Outcomes plan will also lead to a more accountable and transparent health system where the standard of leadership and governance matches community expectations.

This is no small undertaking, but it is a change which must happen to deliver the health system Tasmanians deserve.

It will deliver better access to services which are safer and of a higher quality. It will reduce waiting list times and put the needs of patients first. It will make the health system more transparent and accountable. And it will make significant savings to be reinvested back into frontline services.

You cannot build a long term health system on shaky foundations. Today we begin laying new, strong foundations for a health system which will care for Tasmanians, both now and into the future.

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