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Media Release

Thursday, 30 March 2017

AMA backs call for independent enquiry into RHH bed crisis

AMA Tasmania says it is abundantly clear the Royal Hobart Hospital is unable to cope with the needs of the community, both locally and state-wide.

AMA Tasmania President Dr Stuart Day said the RHH still does not have sufficient beds to meet current demand and it’s time to fix this mess.

“Every day RHH staff struggle to deal with patients requiring urgent inpatient treatment because of insufficient acute care beds,” said Dr Day.

“Additionally, there is no coherent plan to cope with the inevitable increased demand during the coming flu season.

“Hospital and community-based health professionals have raised these concerns on many occasions over the last 12 months.

“It’s time for an independent enquiry to examine how this situation has been allowed to develop and deteriorate, despite repeated warnings from frontline staff.

“We must learn from mistakes made and head off the calamity looming before us.

“It’s time for the Tasmanian Health Service and the Government to support their staff and the community and take urgent action.”

Dr Day said the opening of 27 sub-acute beds around Hobart, announced in late-February this year, was a good start but more needs to be done and quickly.

“More acute hospital beds are essential,” he said.

“Tasmanians cannot wait for three years, workable solutions are required now.

“It’s time that health stops being a political football. All Tasmanian politicians must work cooperatively to ensure that their fellow Tasmanians receive safe, effective and timely health care.” ENDS

Media contact: Ned Worledge, 0418 602 037

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