From today, the Mersey Community Hospital is Tasmania’s dedicated elective surgery centre, helping to drive down waiting lists and times and our high cancellation rates for surgery.

Implementation has occurred over the previous nine months, with the High Dependency Unit reconfigured to a post-operative surgical support unit to support elective surgery patients.

In 2015-16, the Mersey performed more elective surgery than any previous year – around 180 more surgeries than the previous financial year, with the waiting list falling by 30 per cent.

Theatres are running at optimum capacity and we are working to bolster arrangements for surgeons to travel from other hospitals.

The number of urology surgeries, primarily delivered by specialists based at the Launceston General Hospital, increased by 50 per cent in 2015-16.

Patients from across Tasmania will be supported to travel to the Mersey, and a low cost bus service will operate for patients and families to travel between Launceston General Hospital, the Mersey Community Hospital and the North West Regional Hospital that will be established this quarter, part of our $24 million investment in patient transport.

The NWRH Executive Director of Medical Services is working to reduce locums at the Mersey, and this will result in recruitment of new specialists to the surgery centre – something that wouldn’t be possible without our One Health System reforms which have given the Mersey Community Hospital a stronger, more secure role as an acute hospital with a broader range of better and safer services.

This is a strong start, but work must continue to ensure we get the best outcomes for patients.

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