Media release – Rebecca White MP, Labor Leader, 28 January 2021
Gutwein’s broken health and hospital system can no longer be denied after yet another damning report
Premier Peter Gutwein and Health Minister Sarah Courtney can no longer continue to deny the dire situation they have created and maintained in Tasmania’s health and hospital system with the release of another damning report showing it is the worst performing in the nation.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services on health painted a bleak picture of a health system that had deteriorated alarmingly over the past two terms of Liberal government and was continuing to worsen.
Ms White said the Liberals had created a system which had badly failed Tasmanians in need of health care and an impossible situation for nurses, doctors and other health professionals who had been prevented from providing the best care despite their best efforts.
“Mr Gutwein and Ms Courtney can no longer remain in denial after seven years in which their government has consistently eroded resources and failed our hard-working health staff and patients,” Ms White said.
“Telling Tasmanians time and again that the health and hospital system faces ‘significant challenges’ is doing nothing to actually improve a disastrous situation. And it is doing nothing to help Tasmanians who need care get that care.”
The report shows half of Tasmanian category one patients on the elective surgery waiting list waited longer than the recommended treatment timeframe of 30 days.
Overall, almost 55 per cent of Tasmanians on the elective surgery waiting list waited longer than clinically recommended.
Average ambulance response times are the worst in the country at 25.6 minutes.
The report also shows just 66 per cent of emergency patients and 58 per cent of urgent cases presenting to Tasmanian emergency departments were seen on time.
“On this government’s watch, the elective surgery waiting list has ballooned to more than 11,790, the outpatient wait list is unacceptable at 47,700 and more than 16,000 Tasmanians are waiting to see a dentist,” Ms White said.
“These are appalling figures the government can no longer ignore and Mr Gutwein and Ms Courtney need to stop with the excuses and tell Tasmanian health staff and patients how and when they will fix the system.”
Media release – Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader, 28 January 2021
ROGS Data Confirms Deepening Health Crisis
The latest Report on Government Services (ROGS) data for Health confirms Tasmania is in the midst of a health crisis that is worsening under the Liberals.
During their seven years in office, the Liberals have massively underfunded essential services, including the health system.
The data confirms Tasmanian public hospital patients are waiting longer for treatment, and too often returning with worse outcomes.
More than half of Category 1 patients on the elective surgery waiting list, who need the most urgent care, experienced wait times of more than the recommended 30 days in 2019-20. A shocking 75% of category 2 patients on the list waited longer than the recommended 90 days.
In 2015-16, the Liberals’ first year in office, 16% of category 1 waited more than 30 days for surgery.
These patients are labelled ‘urgent’ for a reason – if they’re not seen within the recommended timeframe, they are at growing risk of more serious illness, complications, or death.
When elective surgery waiting times have been raised publicly in the last six months, the Liberals pointed to the COVID-19 suspension of non-urgent surgeries. The ROGS confirms the trend began long before coronavirus.
Tasmania’s emergency departments were the worst performing in the country – with a third of emergency patients waiting longer than they should for care.
This is despite the best efforts of dedicated health professionals, who are doing the best they can for their patients, but are limited by a government that puts spin over substance and funding for hospitals.
Our ambulances are the slowest in country, with median waiting times of 13.8 minutes – two minutes longer than the next worst jurisdiction. Ambulance response times were dropping to 2014-15, when the Liberals came to office, when they started rising.
The ROGS also reported high rates of unplanned readmission rates for many procedures, like hysterectomies and hip replacements.
Tasmanian patients are waiting too long for emergency help, treatment and surgery, and are too often ending up back in hospital.
The ROGS confirm the Liberals’ underfunding and mismanagement of the health system is putting Tasmanian lives at risk.
Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/01/report-on-government-services-health/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=report-on-government-services-health