I am pleased to join the Statewide Sexual Health Services Director Dr Louise Owen in opening the new premises and the expanded service in Launceston today.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has acknowledged the need to upgrade the old premises and has contributed $300,000 to fit out the new location, to enable the service to provide the best possible sexual health services in Launceston.

The new premises features purpose-built consulting rooms, improves the standards of infection control, provides for better security and is a more contemporary and inviting atmosphere.

It also offers teleconference technology, which will allow for remote consulting and meetings.

On coming to office, I was advised that the sexual health service was not properly funded by the previous Labor-Green Government, with Dr Owen as the only medical specialist expected to cover the entire state.

Our One Health System White Paper also identified the need for an additional medical specialist in the sexual health service to provide a better level of service.

This position has now been funded, and filled by Dr Alvin Ding. Dr Ding has relocated from the UK and will be working in Launceston and Hobart, as well as providing outreach services to the Devonport clinic.

Dr Ding’s employment will contribute significantly to the sustainability of the service, through increased training of registrars, GPs and university medical students in sexual health.

The Statewide Sexual Health Service will continue to develop, having already implemented some genuine Tasmanian innovations in health care delivery such as the Outreach Clinic and Rapid HIV Testing.

The Tasmanian Government is also investing $2.5 million in community sector organisations to support sexual health and to support prevention of blood-borne virus and sexually transmitted infection in the state.

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