AMA Tasmania Federal Election Advocacy Platform 2019
Building health services in Tasmania
Tasmanians deserve high quality, accessible public health services, and political parties must support long term strategies that focus on this outcome. Our health care staff must be supported in delivering frontline care and we need to implement a strategic plan for our public hospitals and community health services across Tasmania.
The AMA identifies five key areas of broad health policy that deserve cross party political support:
• Sustainable healthcare facilities and infrastructure
• Sustainable healthcare workforce
• Sustainable health funding based on activity and community need
• Accessible, high quality health services for all Tasmanians
• Strengthening the health of families and communities
Sustainable healthcare facilities and infrastructure
All hospitals require ongoing maintenance, refurbishment and redevelopment. The Royal Hobart Hospital is southern Tasmania’s only public hospital and the states tertiary referral hospital for all Tasmanians. The new RHH “K Block” will provide long overdue replacement and capacity expansion to support a proportion of services. However, there is an urgent need for a Federal Government commitment to ongoing infrastructure funding to implement the Tasmanian Government’s recently announced strategic approach to master planning and redevelopment of RHH facilities to address ageing and inadequate facilities supporting key RHH services such as ICU, ED, Pathology and Medical Imaging also require replacement.
Fund much-needed hospital redevelopment in Tasmania by:
• Support for the state government to undertake the facility improvements in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie that are identified as being necessary through the Clinical Planning Taskforce
• Committing to funding the proposed and much needed Mental Health Facility development at the Repatriation Hospital campus
• Committing to funding the “L Block” development at the Royal Hobart Hospital
Sustainable healthcare workforce
Our greatest asset is our staff. To deliver high-quality healthcare services, we must be adequately staffed with skilled clinical professionals. This requires improved methods of workforce recruitment, retention and training. It also needs strong and stable partnerships to be forged with professional bodies and the University of Tasmania.
• Sustained and strategic support for funding staffing of Tasmania’s healthcare facilitiesis required; not episodic and inconsistent package for time-limited periods
• Ensure development of a workforce plan that is a partnership with staff, and training entities such as UTAS, Colleges and the AMA
• Ensure the University of Tasmania Medical School remains a viable force instrategically providing doctors for the Tasmanian community
Sustainable health funding based on activity and need
Tasmania’s public health system must be adequately funded. An ABF funding model that recognises the need, scale and necessary distribution of public health services in Tasmania.
• Progress ABF funding for Tasmania’s hospitals, ensuring the “dollars follow the patientcare journey”
• Ensure overall healthcare system efficiency by strategically funding and upholding theTasmanian Role Delineation Framework that determines the scope of services that are delivered and developed at each of Tasmania’s public hospitals
Accessible, high quality health services for all Tasmanians
Tasmanians must have access to transport to appropriate healthcare facilities. This may not be the closest hospital, but it must be the one best matched for their need.
• Support effective patient transport and trauma retrieval services so that all Tasmanians have access to timely care
• Ensure patients and relatives from regional and remote areas are supported when accessing services not available in their home region
Mental Health Sector
The Public Mental Health sector in Tasmania has recently had difficulty in the provision of even the most basic services. The difficulties have occurred across the state and across all subspecialty groups, Child, Adult, Older Persons, Alcohol and Drug, and Forensic Services, but have particularly involved the protracted bed crisis at the Royal Hobart Hospital, brought about by the redevelopment at that site. The number of people presenting to the sector also continues to increase, with many suffering with rising levels of acuity and complexity. Substance abuse, particularly involving the drug crystal methamphetamine, or “ice”, further complicates the needs of many in the sector.
• Urgently fund Mental Health facility building works in Tasmania by committing to funding the proposed and much needed Mental Health Facility development at the Repatriation Hospital campus
• Support patient access to appropriate mental health services across Tasmania