The Hodgman Liberal Government is investing $5.4 million to ensure patients get the care they need sooner in our busy emergency departments. Patients First is a comprehensive action plan to reduce the amount of time patients wait for treatment, and we are backing it up with funding in the 2016-17 Budget.

Clinical Initiative Nurses will be employed to monitor and advise patients while they are in an emergency department. This will also include developing plans of care for patients in consultation with emergency department doctors.

We value the important role of Psychiatric Emergency Nurses at the Royal Hobart Hospital and our $5.4 million investment will ensure the continuation of these positions.

Both the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital emergency departments will benefit from the Patients First initiative.

We are also investing $1.4 million over four years in Extended Care Paramedics and a First Intervention Vehicle for the Southern region to reduce emergency department admissions and preserve emergency ambulance response capacity. This will complement the significant additional capability of 3 Extended Care Paramedics for Launceston and 12 Paramedics for the North West Coast announced last year – all of which are ready to commence this July.

Hospital emergency departments are a crucial part of health services relied on by Tasmanians to provide life-saving medical intervention and emergency treatment.

Across the State, there are more than 155,000 presentations to hospital emergency departments every year so it is vital we do all we can to ensure the right care is provided as efficiently as possible despite the challenging levels of demand we are experiencing.

With the Budget back on track the Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to reinvest in essential services like health and put Patients First.

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