A MAJORITY LIBERAL GOVERNMENT WILL:
- Slash elective surgery waiting lists and deliver an additional 22,300 elective surgeries and endoscopies State-wide, by investing an additional $120 million for a total investment of $156.4 million to deliver a record program of elective surgery.
- Employ up to an additional 280 full-time equivalent staff to support new and boosted services across Tasmania, including more than 160 nurses, 14 doctors, 30 allied health staff as well as more than 70 hospital support staff.
- For the North-West, this will provide an additional 3,700 additional surgeries and endoscopies and an investment of $26.1 million over the next four years, as part of the biggest ever investment into elective surgery.
- Provide an additional 20,000 dental appointments State-wide, across emergency dental, general dental care and denture clinics.
- Deliver a $60 million stage 1 redevelopment of the North-West Regional Hospital to meet future demand – the first significant upgrade in decades.
- Expand the Mersey Community Hospital Redevelopment with a further investment of $20 million to provide a total upgrade of $55 million – the most significant redevelopment in the hospital’s history.
- Deliver a second Linear Accelerator at the North-West Regional Hospital to meet demand for cancer patients on the Coast, investing $8.1 million over the next four years to operate and staff.
- Provide a one-off $20 million fund to deliver care sooner for Tasmanians by ensuring our private hospitals are better able to support our public hospitals to manage demand.
- Guarantee to retain the Mersey Community Hospital and keep improving its services and facilities for the benefit of the local community.
- Establish a new Rural Medical Workforce Centre at the Mersey Community Hospital to support the recruitment and retention of permanent doctors for the region, with an investment of $3.3 million.
- Strengthen palliative and community health care with an additional $52.0 million State-wide for in-home and local community-delivered health services.
- Invest in a new $20 million State-wide Hospital Equipment fund.
- Support the work of Family Planning Tasmania to deliver health services across the State for women.
- Increased access to Medical Cannabis.
The Tasmanian Majority Liberal Government has delivered more funding, more staff, and more health services than any government before.
We are now spending $9.8 billion on health - $4 billion more than the Labor-Green Government in 2013 and a 70 per cent increase.
In fact, 32 per cent of total Budget funding is now spent on health, up from 25 per cent a decade ago.
In the north-west of the State, this has delivered around 150 more staff, including –
- 94 extra full-time nurses;
- 22 additional doctors; and
- 6 more allied health professionals.
More funding has allowed us to reopen beds closed by Labor at the NWRH and invest in new, modern facilities and new health care services.
We know there is more to do, and this Plan lays out what we’ll do to address immediate challenges for health demand, and our longer-term plans for the NWRH and Mersey, and health services across the North-West.
Deliver a $60 million stage 1 redevelopment of the North-West Regional Hospital to meet future demand – the first significant upgrade in decades.
Over the next ten years, a re-elected Liberal Majority Government will undertake a major redevelopment of the North-West Regional Hospital to meet future demand.
This significant upgrade of the Burnie hospital is the first in decades.
We will allocate $60 million for the first stage of the redevelopment, which will comprise:
- $40 million for the first stage of a new Mental Health Precinct, adjacent to the NWRH, to replace the ageing Spencer Clinic.
- $20 million to provide ward upgrades, with space freed up from the moving of the Spencer Clinic, which will provide additional bed capacity for the NWRH.
It is expected that this Stage will be completed in 2025.
While this is underway, we will provide $500 000 for an updated Master Plan for the North West Regional Hospital and local health facilities, and will consult with the local community, key stakeholders, clinicians and hospital staff, and health consumers, on the second stage of the redevelopment.
Subject to this consultation, this is expected to include a second stage of the Mental Health precinct, which will provide for the co-location of community services to provide integrated care.
It is estimated that this will cost a further $40 million and will be considered as part of future Budget processes, once consultation and design are finalised.
Deliver a second Linear Accelerator at the North-West Regional Hospital to meet demand for cancer patients on the Coast, investing $8.1 million over the next four years to operate and staff
The North-West Cancer Centre in Burnie was opened in 2016, and it took a Liberal Majority Government to fund these critical services for North-West cancer patients.
Since opening, the Centre has saved thousands of Tasmanians and their families the trip back and forth from Launceston for care.
Recently, the Australian Government provided $4.4 million to purchase a second linear accelerator for the North-West.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide $8.1 million over the next four years to operate and staff the second linear accelerator at the North-West Cancer Centre.
With increasing demand and an estimated 430 new cancer patients requiring radiation therapy or chemotherapy each year on the North-West, a second linear accelerator will effectively double our current capacity.
Around 12 full-time equivalent staff will be recruited to operate the new linear accelerator, which is expected to be installed and operational in 2022.
Provide a one-off $20 million fund to deliver care sooner for Tasmanians by ensuring our private hospitals are better able to support our public hospitals to manage demand.
In order to assist the public sector to cope with the massive investment into elective surgery, a further one-off $20 million will be made available in a fund to allow private hospitals to support our public hospitals to manage demand by –
- assisting our public hospital sector to meet our ambitious elective surgery schedule;
- allowing for the purchase of beds from private hospitals to improve patient flow and access to care; and
- enabling private hospitals to support public hospitals with demand in other areas, including community nursing and home care.
Within seven days of the swearing in of a re-elected Majority Liberal Government, the Government will meet with each major private hospital as well as the Community nursing and home care sector to discuss the provision of these services, and work to put arrangements in place by 30 June 2021.
Guarantee to retain the Mersey Community Hospital and keep improving its services and facilities for the benefit of the local community
It took a Tasmanian Liberal Majority Government to secure the future of the Mersey Community Hospital, with a 10-year, $730 million deal with the Australian Government.
Unlike the Labor Shadow Health Minister, who believes we have too many hospitals and has said the Mersey only “exists due to political pork barrelling and parochialism”, a re-elected Liberal Majority Government will guarantee to retain the Mersey as a community hospital for the North-West region.
This will provide the protection and certainty the community deserve.
Since our election, the Liberals have made significant investments into the Mersey, including new palliative care and rehabilitation facilities, ante and post-natal facilities, lifts, car parks, and a new helipad.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government guarantees to not only retain the Mersey, but commit to at least the same level of funding and continued investment in improved services and facilities.
Expand the Mersey Community Hospital Redevelopment with a further investment of $20 million to provide a total upgrade of $55 million – the most significant redevelopment in the hospital’s history.
Over the next four years, a re-elected Liberal Majority Government will expand the Mersey Community Hospital Redevelopment, with a further investment of $20 million for upgrades including:
- A new kitchen, with state-of-the-art equipment.
- A new ward, providing more bed capacity.
- Provision of a temporary surgical theatre, which will allow surgery to continue while planned theatre upgrades take place, reducing service disruption from the ongoing redevelopment.
Planning and consultation for these increased works will get underway immediately, with additional works expected to commence in 2022 and take three years to complete.
This is in addition to the ongoing $35 million redevelopment, providing for a total upgrade of $55 million.
Establish a new Rural Medical Workforce Centre at the Mersey Community Hospital to support the recruitment and retention of permanent doctors for the region, with an investment of $4.3 million
A re-elected Liberal Majority will support the retention and recruitment of rural doctors to the North-West by establishing a new Rural Medical Workforce Centre at the Mersey Community Hospital.
This new unit will drive the Rural Generalist Training Pathway within Tasmania.
It will support training of Rural Medical Generalist Specialist doctors by managing advanced skills rotations and engagement with relevant medical colleges.
The Centre will provide a crucial local specialist workforce pipeline, specifically in support of both North-West hospitals, putting downward pressure on the use of locums.
This will help us to recruit and retain permanent doctors for the North-West, providing improved continuity of care for patients.
We will provide $1 million for the establishment of the Centre, and $3.3 million for staffing.
Strengthen palliative and community health care State-wide with an additional $52.0 million for in-home and local community-delivered health services
While acute care in our public hospitals has been a necessary focus to meet demand, we are simultaneously investing in community and in-home community and locally-delivered services.
These are vital services that work to keep people out of hospital or help them get home faster following a hospitalisation, when it is safe to do so.
It’s part of increasing Our Healthcare Future agenda to ensure that care is delivered at the right time, in the right place.
These investments in community care include ambulance secondary triage and delivering new Community Rapid Response services around Tasmania.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide $52.0 million over the next four financial years to support this care in the community, including -
- $27.5 million to continue our Community Rapid Response Service hospital-in-the-home type services in all regions of the State, and to further pilot hospital in the home services.
- $10.5 million in additional funding to significantly strengthen our in-home palliative care and after hour care services, significantly improving end of life care especially in rural and regional communities.
- $6.8 million to provide better palliative care services, in partnership with private hospitals and service providers.
- $1.0 million for a Hospital Avoidance Co-Investment fund, to match private sector investment on a dollar-for-dollar basis to support capital upgrades for GPs and Primary Care providers who will improve or expand their facilities in order to deliver improved after-hours care. This is in addition to the $3 million already announced for GPs to support after-hours service delivery.
- $600 000 for the Heart Foundation, to support patients following their hospitalisation for a heart attack or angina.
$1.4 million for Community Transport Services Tasmania and its 400 loyal volunteers to continue to support Tasmanians to access care. In a typical year, CTST will make more than 170,000 trips across Tasmania, travelling more than four million kilometres.
This will also include $4.25 million for Palliative Care Tasmania so they can continue their successful GP education and training programs, workforce development and community education and awareness.
New services established under this initiative will be evaluated after the first two years of operation.
Invest in a new State-wide Hospital Equipment fund
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will invest an additional $20 million over two years to replace and upgrade critical hospital equipment across Tasmania, including diagnostic imaging equipment.
To guide this investment, a strategic plan will be developed in consultation with our public hospital executives and clinicians, to ensure our hospitals are fully equipped to provide contemporary care for Tasmanians.
Support the work of Family Planning Tasmania to deliver health services across the State for women
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide $346,000 to Family Planning Tasmania, to establish and deliver new women’s health services within Family Planning Tasmania clinics in Glenorchy, Launceston and Burnie in order to reduce public health waiting lists and referrals into the public system, providing a better patient experience.
These services will include colposcopy, pessary assessment and fitting, specialist services for patients living with disability and ultrasound services offered by Family Planning Tasmania.
Increased access to Medical Cannabis
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will make improvements to Tasmania’s Controlled Access Scheme, increasing access to unregistered medical cannabis products. This will include authorising Tasmanian General Practitioners to prescribe medical cannabis products, and allowing more pharmacies across the State to dispense these products.
We will also move to adopt the national online application pathway and 48 hour authorisation timeframe, with the commencement of the new access scheme to commence from 1 July this year.
Current work underway right now in the North-West and West
- $3 million to support GPs and primary care providers to provide after-hour services, locally.
- $10 million rural and regional hospital and ambulance upgrades underway at more than 40 facilities around the State.
- $21.6 million new HR system for health (currently paper-based and slow).
- Building the $6 million Burnie Ambulance Station.
- New palliative care facilities at the Mersey.
- $10.5 million redevelopment of the King Island Hospital, almost complete.
- Building the new $4.2 million NWRH Antenatal Clinic.
- Completing air conditioning upgrades in some NWRH wards.
- Recruited around 150 more staff to our North-West hospitals since elected.
- Opened 16 new beds at the NWRH, reversing closures made under Labor.
- Opened the NW Cancer Centre in 2016, saving NW Coast people with cancer thousands of trips into Launceston each year for radiology treatment.
- Expanded and upgraded the Emergency Department at the NWRH.
- Built and opened new facilities at the Mersey, including
- a new 12-bed Rehabilitation Centre, supported by a specialist doctor for the first time;
- a $1.6 million upgrade for ante and post-natal facilities; and
- new lifts and 200 new car parks.
- Secured the future of the Mersey with a 10-year, $730 million deal with the Australian Government.
- Established the new North-West Community Rapid Response Service, delivering health care in the home.
- Provided a dedicated purpose-built NW Mobile Breastscreen bus, providing vital screening services.
- New Acute Stroke Telemedicine Service at the NWRH. $1.8 million upgrade for the Latrobe Ambulance Station.
- New heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades at the Devonport Community Health Centre.
Employed 170 more paramedics and dispatch officers State-wide, including –
- 12 new paramedics recruited in 2016
- Three new paramedics for Wynyard
- New dedicated State-wide aeromedical service with a new $2 million helipad at the Mersey, delivering life-saving care faster.
- $28 million State-wide investment in new cancer equipment.
- Delivering 180 more nurse graduate positions.
- Secondary triage for ambulance services. $6 million for mental health and wellbeing for first responders (including Ambulance).
- Nation-leading presumptive PTSD laws.
- Over 180 defibrillators delivered to Tasmanian community groups.
- Support package for our hardworking Ambulance volunteers.
- Labor-Green Government:
- Under the last Labor-Green Government between 2010 and 2014: Sacked 287 nurses over a nine-month period.
- Failed to build the new Royal Hobart Hospital K-block (after first promising to do so in 2006), spending millions without even starting the build. Closed more than 100 hospital beds.
- Slashed $58 million in funding for elective surgery – leading to a 10-year waiting backlog.
- Spent $1 million fighting paramedic wage increases.
- Downgraded rural hospitals at Ouse and Rosebery and the Mersey. Failed to fund the NW cancer centre. $500 million health cuts in 2011-12 Budget.
- Broke key health promises including new helicopter service.
- More recently Labor has:
- Opposed new paramedics in regional areas.
- Failed to support the $10 million rural and regional hospital and ambulance upgrades.
- Proposed closing hospitals and questioned the ongoing operations of the Mersey Community Hospital.
Our record in Government:
Statewide initiatives: $200 million over five years from 2020 21.
Other initiatives: $11.9 million over four years from 2021-22.
North West Policy: $81 million over four years from 2021 22.
Statewide initiatives: $20 million over two years from 2021-22.