At the very least, opposition health spokesperson Rebecca White is playing politics.
Her claims today are factually wrong, irresponsible and she is unnecessarily scaring the Tasmanian public.

In the first instance, the claim by Ms White that I received an open letter signed by doctors expressing concern about the Cardiothoracic Unit:

• Firstly, this is untrue. There has been no such letter written to me but one was addressed to THS executive director South Craig Watson;
• Secondly, the letter is over nine months old; and
• Thirdly – the concerns raised in this letter have been the matter of personal inquiry by me last year and have since been addressed.

This is an appalling exercise of dishonesty and mischief by Labor’s health spokesperson.

It is irresponsible because the way Ms White has characterised the Royal Hobart Hospital only undermines public confidence in an excellent service.

The nine month old concerns have been addressed.

In regards to staffing we have an extra surgeon, a perfusionist has been appointed and so has another elective surgery nurse.

To the end of March, the total number of cardio surgeries has also increased when compared to the same period over the last two years.

We have a strong plan for health in Tasmania and it’s all about making sure Tasmanians get the treatment they need.

My message to the community is that we are constantly striving to fix the broken health system, evidenced by the improvements we are making – including at our Cardiothoracic Unit.

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