Today I am announcing we are permanently opening and funding 15 more beds at the Launceston General Hospital.

Health is a key priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government which is why we are making the commitment to permanently keep open the 12-bed Ward 4D and construct three new single rooms for vulnerable patients.

Ward 4D was shamelessly closed by the former Labor-Green Government. This has cost hospital jobs, and harmed patient care – with so many beds closed they had to be stored in an offsite warehouse. This announcement permanently reverses Labor’s closure decision.

Under the Hodgman Government we’ve seen an increase of more than 40 additional beds at the LGH.

The LGH is a much loved hospital and since we’ve come to Government, more staff have been employed, including 120 FTE nurses since March 2014, double shifts have reduced, more people are getting the surgery they require and more areas are being refurbished.

Securing the future of Ward 4D is the next stage of our Patients First initiative which is aimed at improving patient flow and easing pressure on the LGH emergency department, allowing people to be treated sooner.

The hardworking LGH staff have gone above and beyond at these times to ensure each person given the care they need, and recruitment for additional health professionals will begin straight away.

The cost of securing Ward 4D is expected to be $880,000 this financial year and this will be backed by a further $1 million capital investment this year, to support more single rooms.

This continued investment in our health system is only made possible because we’ve got the Budget back on track.

We have made a record $6.4 billion investment in health over the next four years, and while there is still more to be done we are delivering the health system that Tasmanians need and deserve.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to providing a better health system for all Tasmanians, by permanently opening these 15 beds at the LGH we are making sure Northern patients share in the benefits of our increased investment in health.

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