I have asked the CEO of the Tasmanian Health Service, Dr David Alcorn to spend at least a week encamped at the Royal to monitor the increased demand being experienced in the emergency department, and to provide leadership support to identify meaningful solutions.

This will occur from Monday next week.

While our priority is always to put patients first, it is clear that the care required is not always being provided in a timely manner.

Our health system, right across the state, needs to be more responsive and I am focused on solutions.

While I am not ruling out any options, it should be noted that this is not just about funding. The Government is investing a record $6 billion into our health system over the forward estimates. The THS has 224 more staff than 1 July 2015, predominately nurses and doctors. We have also re-opened beds and in the case of the LGH opened two new theatres.

Despite these investments we are still struggling to deal with increased demand.

I am prepared to challenge the old ways of running hospital emergency departments if it means more timely care for patients. Our dedicated health professionals are working hard to care for patients but are not always supported by the system to be as effective as they can be.

I look forward to receiving advice from Dr Alcorn on short term actions that can be taken to alleviate waiting times for patients in emergency.

We need solutions that can make an immediate difference and that complement longer term solutions already being progressed, such as the Mersey becoming a dedicated 23 hour elective surgery hub from July this year.

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