The Tasmanian Government has developed a comprehensive Winter Demand Management Plan for 2019 to ensure we are as prepared as possible to support patients and health staff during the winter months.
Implementation of the Plan has already commenced, and it includes:
- Low-cost flu vaccinations for children aged 10 and over by community pharmacists without an appointment;
- Opening 12 additional beds at the Mersey Community Hospital to support the North and North-West;
- Community Rapid Response Service in the South and North-West to reduce hospital presentations and admissions;
- Better engagement with aged care homes to achieve safe and appropriate care and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions; and
- More private hospital beds through an improved access arrangement for the RHH.
About 300,000 Tasmanians can now receive a low-cost flu vaccination in many pharmacies across the state, with children aged 10 and over able to receive their vaccination from a pharmacist, in an Australian first. Previously, pharmacists could only deliver flu shots to Tasmanians aged 18 and over.
Doctors advise the best protection against the flu is a vaccination, which is why we have worked hard to make it so much more accessible for families.
All Tasmanians over six months can have a vaccination, and many people are eligible for free immunisation – visit www.flu.tas.gov.au for more information.
Tasmania’s health agencies have worked together in the lead-up to winter to increase capacity at each of our major hospitals.
The THS is also working to reduce bottlenecks, such as the discharge of medications and diagnostic testing. New processes will include smoother patient flow and better demand management for beds and for inter-facility transfers.
A copy of the Winter Plan can be found at http://www.health.tas.gov.au/about_the_department/our_plans_and_strategies/winter_plan