Around 300 more endoscopy procedures will be performed at the Mersey Community Hospital every year in the first step to the hospital becoming Tasmania’s dedicated elective surgery centre. The Hodgman Liberal Government’s One Health System reforms are all about fixing the broken health system and getting more Tasmanians timely, better health care.

While I have asked the Tasmanian Health Service to deliver an implementation plan for the White Paper to me by the end of September, one of the areas for immediate action identified in the White Paper was to progress the addition of more elective procedures at the Mersey Community Hospital.

Under the One Health System changes, and the record $148.5 million funding agreement with the Commonwealth Government, the Mersey will become Tasmania’s dedicated elective surgery centre, in addition to providing local hospital services.

I am very pleased to announce that starting on September 7, three additional endoscopy sessions per month have been added to the Mersey as the first step in this important change to how we deliver elective procedures in Tasmania.

This will see around 30 additional endoscopies performed every month, helping to tackle unacceptable waiting lists for this procedure.

Endoscopy is a procedure for investigating a patient’s digestive tract, and plays a crucial role in diagnosing a range of conditions from cancer to digestive issues.

Tasmanians currently have to wait too long for endoscopies, like they do for many elective procedures. These additional sessions will help reduce those long waiting times.

They will allow people from both the North West and elsewhere in the state to access this procedure sooner, with specialists from Launceston travelling to the Mersey to provide these additional sessions.

These additional sessions are just the first step in adding more elective surgeries to the Mersey as part of its dedicated role in one statewide health system.

There has already been significant progress made on the implementation of a Northern Integrated Surgical Service, with clinicians from across the North and North West collaborating closely on this initiative.

The implementation plan which is currently being developed will detail how the THS will roll out the White Paper changes.

It’s very important to note that changes will be implemented gradually and only when our hospitals have in place the support and resources to deliver them. It’s completely incorrect for anybody to imply, as some have misleadingly attempted to do, that any patients or services will be redirected from one hospital to another before we are completely assured that the right support is in place.

If hospitals taking on additional emergency patients need to open more beds, then this will happen.

The Liberal Government’s One Health System reforms are aimed at providing safer and more timely care for Tasmanians – offering better services to which all Tasmanians have access.

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