Staffing issues at the Launceston General Hospital were raised with me on Monday last week and as Minister I took action the same day.

The CEO David Alcorn has, at my request, met personally with staff at the hospital to discover if there are any barriers to them staying on and I am told these meetings have been constructive.

I want to make it perfectly clear – while there are always demands, this is not a funding problem as some are now saying. It is a workforce turnover problem and we are all working to resolve it.

Interviews for a key medical manager are already set to occur on June 27. This is an important step to addressing broader issues in the emergency department.

It is also important to note that recent vacancies are the result of a number of factors, including retirements.

We are all keen to improve hospital-wide care at the LGH and ensure that existing patient safety levels are not diminished.

The Hodgman Liberal government is committed to ensuring all of our emergency departments are properly resourced and that patients get the care they need as quickly as possible.

That is why we recently announced the $5.4 million Patient’s First plan to ensure those visiting the hospital get the care they need.

This plan includes the rollout of Clinical Initiative Nurse positions, who will monitor and advise patients when in emergency. These will be also be provided at the LGH.

The government has also set aside $7.9 million for the first major upgrade of the children’s ward to meet the clinical needs of acutely ill children and provide a better recovery environment.

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