Today an RTI was provided to Labor on cardiothoracic surgery as part of our commitment to be an open and transparent government.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is continuing to make improvements and greater investment to provide more cardiothoracic surgery here in Tasmania.

This is demonstrated through our actions to employ an additional surgeon, a perfusionist, as well as another elective surgery nurse.

To the end of March, the total number of cardiothoracic surgeries increased when compared to the same period over the past two years.

As Labor is well aware – I have no say in the licensing of health services. Under the law, this must be considered independently by the DHHS Secretary, a process established by former Health Minister Lara Giddings.

Labor have been shamefully opportunistic on this issue, getting it wrong on claims that a licence has been provided and that the Minster has approved it.

As the Secretary made clear at Estimates, any application for a cardiothoracic licence would need to satisfy strict criteria such as the development of policies for the safe and sustainable provision of such a unit and liaison with an already established facility performing more than 400 cases a year.

As I have made clear more than once, the only approval Calvary has received is for building alterations.
Under the Health Services Establishments Act 2006, brought into law by the current Opposition, the Secretary can neither refuse nor deny a compliant application for such works.

This does not give Calvary authority to undertake cardiothoracic surgery.

The government is proud and strongly supportive of the excellent public service at the Royal Hobart Hospital, which provides around 280 cardiothoracic surgeries each year.

It would be up to Calvary to demonstrate there is demand for a second service.

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

The RTI is publically available here.

Subscribe to my newsletter

Get the latest news direct from Michael.

Thanks for subscribing