Improving Tasmania’s health system remains a key priority of the Hodgman Government and we are making good progress, backed by our record investment of $6.4 billion over four years.

This investment is allowing our One Health System reforms to make real change and we’ve already seen progress and improvement through the implementation of the White Paper on Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services, the Rethink Mental Health Plan and addressing suicide prevention strategies, the Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan and the Patients First Action Plan.

And today, I was pleased to officially launch the latest milestone in reform process – a first in Tasmanian health care – a permanent First Intervention Vehicle and Extended Care Paramedic service for the Launceston area.

The service, which forms part of our $24 million commitment to improve patient transport, means paramedics will travel in a purpose-built vehicle as a first response to clinically appropriate cases.

Where possible, they will treat patients at the scene and/or provide them with advice on suitable other options for community-based care.

In doing so, they will help to reduce call-outs for ambulances freeing them up to respond to other cases in the community, and also will help to reduce presentations to Emergency Departments.

This was a key commitment as part of our Agenda 2016 in health.

Our work this year has also realised the roll out of a dedicated elective surgery hub at the Mersey Community Hospital, a low-cost bus service linking the Mersey and North West Regional Hospital and shortly, the Launceston General Hospital, and a review of nursing double shifts and overtime.

Since we came to government we have reduced the number of people on elective surgery waiting lists to the lowest since records were kept and we have employed more frontline professionals through nurses, doctors and paramedics around the state.

We’ve also shown our commitment to the $689 million Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment and the delivery of a state-of-the-art facility for generations of Tasmanians, which despite its issues is progressing well.
There is still more work to be done, but the Hodgman Government is committed to getting better health outcomes for all Tasmanians and we will continue to put Tasmanians first as we work to achieve this.

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