The Hodgman Liberal Government has a renewed focus on health this year, as we continue to build a better health system for everyone.

Today’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report shows the progress being made as we move to one health system with higher quality services and better results.

In 2014-15, the AIHW’s measure of elective admissions involving surgery in Tasmania’s public hospitals grew 2 ½ times faster than the national average – the highest rate in the nation.

This measure includes all patients that were clinically assessed on admission as able to wait more than 24 hours for surgery, primarily patients from the elective surgery waiting list.

This is a positive sign as it shows that our efforts to decrease waiting times, particularly for those waiting the longest, are working.

In fact, DHHS data confirms that to the end of February, we have achieved a nearly 60 percent reduction in average excessive wait times for very long waiting non-urgent patients that were a legacy of the former Government, this is a 288 day improvement since June 2014.

The AIHW report also indicates that Tasmania had the second highest number of admissions for hip replacement, cataract and gall bladder surgeries per 100,000 people of any state or territory, and also an above average numbers of knee replacement surgeries.

This is a significant achievement given we also had the second high rate in the growth of emergency admissions involving surgery in the nation.

Health care is a priority for this Government. We have opened extra theatres at LGH and added capacity at the RHH, which along with the use the use of private contracts will enable the Tasmanian Health Service to meet its ambitious 2015-16 targets.

These improvements will be complemented by the dedicated 23 hour elective surgery service we are establishing at the Mersey Community Hospital, which will be fully operational from July this year.

There is still a lot of work to be done, however health services in Tasmania are heading in the right direction under the Hodgman Liberal Government.

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