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Media release

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A State Budget doesn’t make a healthy public hospital system

While initially welcoming the focus the 2017/18 State Budget placed on health and additional beds, AMA Tasmania President Dr Stuart Day said this must be put into context of an underfunded and poorly lead hospital system that is letting Tasmanian’s down.

“Our hospital system is performing poorly because it does not have the resources to meet demand,” said Dr Day.

“It is AMA Tasmania’s position that the current THS CEO does not have the leadership abilities to address the issues faced by our public hospitals and we do not have confidence in the CEO to manage the THS.”

Dr Day said since the budget was announced, AMA Tasmania has reviewed the detail and consulted with members.

“After reviewing the budget, the position of AMA Tasmania in regards to the needs of the public hospital system remains unchanged,” he said.

“We are extremely disappointed in the Minister for misrepresenting the position of AMA Tasmania on more than one occasion.

“The Minister should instead focus on getting the THS back on track.

“Tasmanians need good hospital leadership with empowered regional hospitals, focused on their communities.

“We need all Tasmanians to be able to access good public hospital care, and we need to attract and retain high quality medical staff.”

Dr Day said there are questions around whether these have been achieved through the budget.

“Our health service lacks leadership and a workable governance structure,” he said

“The budget doesn’t change this, so there is little confidence that initiatives will flow.

“Tasmania continues to experience severe access block in our emergency departments, long surgery waits and long clinic waits.

“Many of the beds announced in last week’s State Budget already exist and have patients in them, yet still we have the nation’s poorest preforming hospitals.

“Tasmania needs every additional hospital bed it can get and AMA Tasmania has lobbied the State Government for 18 months about the poor state of our Public Hospitals.

“But these budget announcements will not solve the access crisis in Tasmania, particularly in the

south.

“The current problems in our health system are due to years of cuts and this budget does not break

that cycle.”

ENDS

Media contact: Ned Worledge, Font PR, 0418 602 037


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