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.
- Provide an additional 11,100 surgeries and endoscopies for the State’s south, with a funding boost of $78.2 million over the next four years, as part of the biggest ever investment into elective surgery.
- Establish a Health Staff Recruitment Taskforce.
- Provide an additional 20,000 dental appointments State-wide, across emergency dental, general dental care and denture clinics.
- Deliver the expanded Stage II of the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment, with over $200 million in new facilities to meet future demand.
- Build a brand new second angiography suite at the Royal Hobart Hospital and upgrade equipment.
- 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 meet demand.
- Build the $30 million Stage II Kingston health centre, to deliver even more community health facilities for this growing region.
- Deliver a $1 million upgrade to the Dover Medical Centre to expand and improve access to primary health and GP services.
- Strengthen palliative and community health care with an additional $52.0 million for in-home and local community-delivered services.
- Invest in a new State-wide Hospital Equipment fund.
- Support the work of Family Planning Tasmania to deliver health services across the State for women.
- Increase access to Medical Cannabis.
The Tasmanian Majority Liberal Government has delivered more funding, more staff, 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, from 25 per cent a decade ago.
This massive injection in funding has allowed the Government to employ over 1500 more full-time hospital and health staff, build new health facilities and open new health care services.
In the south of the State, this has delivered 850 additional staff at the Royal Hobart Hospital and in providing other local health services, including –
- 398 extra full-time nurses;
- 115 more allied health professionals; and
- Over 130 extra doctors.
It took a Majority Liberal Government to build and open the new $689 million Royal Hobart Hospital K-block, which Labor first promised to build in 2006 and left office in 2014 without laying a brick.
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 expansion of the RHH precinct and health services in southern Tasmania.
Invest an additional $120 million for a total investment of $156.4 million to deliver a record program of elective surgery to slash waiting lists and deliver an additional 22,300 elective surgeries and endoscopies
During COVID-19, the national Cabinet, with the agreement of all States, acted on public health advice to suspend all non-urgent elective surgery, to avoid bringing COVID into hospitals. This has led to increases in waiting lists across Australia.
A Majority Liberal Government will invest a new $120 million over four years on top of the $36.4 million investment already budgeted for 2021- 22. This will mean that over four years $156.4 million will be spent including a total of $66.4 million in the next financial year.
This investment is estimated to deliver nearly 20,000 more elective surgeries and over 2300 extra endoscopies over the coming four years.
More than 180 staff State-wide are expected to support this increase in volume, including more than 112 nurses, 10 doctors, 16 allied health staff as well as more than 40 hospital support staff.
For the southern region, we will target more than 11,100 surgeries and endoscopies and an investment of $78.2 million.
While this funding will be over the coming four years, we will prioritise 2021-22, providing an extra 8300 surgeries State-wide, bringing our expected total volume for that year to more than 22,800 surgeries in one year – almost twice the size of the waiting list, and the largest year of surgery ever in Tasmania.
From 2022-23 on, we will provide more than 3700 additional surgeries each year.
The final volume of surgeries and endoscopies for each hospital each year will be dependent on the complexity of patients and the types of surgery which will be determined in consultation with clinicians.
This will help target the backlog from the pandemic, and over the next four years, will see significantly reduced waiting lists and waiting times for Tasmanians as surgeries are delivered sooner.
Establish a Health Staff Recruitment Taskforce
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will establish a new Health Staff Recruitment Taskforce, to look at how we can improve recruitment for our hospitals, to support our investment in elective surgery and our ongoing investment to open beds and take pressure off Emergency Departments.
We will convene the taskforce within 30 days of the swearing in of a re-elected Majority Liberal Government and will invite professional organisations, such as the ANMF and AMA, and the University of Tasmania, to participate, alongside the Department of Health and the State Service Management Office.
This will complement the Health Recruitment, Retention and Workforce Planning Unit and the Taskforce will consider actions from the draft Health Workforce 2040 strategy, and will also look at recruitment incentives and improved job advertisements to help attract staff, with $500 000 to support its work.
The taskforce will first meet in Southern Tasmania, but will have a State-wide remit across all hospitals.
20,000 more dental appointments State-wide for Tasmanians
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government is committed to providing an additional $5 million for around 20,000 additional dental appointments State-wide.
These appointments will support public oral health patients across emergency dental, general dental care and denture clinics.
Deliver the expanded Stage II of the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment, with over $200 million in new facilities to meet future demand
A Majority Liberal Government will expand the second stage of the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment with a further $110 million investment.
This adds to the $91 million investment in Stage II, already budgeted.
The expansion is part of a new 30-year Master Plan for the Royal Hobart Hospital precinct which was developed and delivered, as promised, after the 2018 State Election.
The expanded Stage II redevelopment will deliver:
- A new Neurology/Stroke ward
- A new Rapid Assessment Medical Unit
- A new Medical sub-specialties ward
- A relocation of the Acute Rehabilitation Unit from the Repatriation Hospital, to meet demand for additional sub-acute bed capacity at that site
- A refurbished endoscopy suite to address clinical compliance issues
- Co-location of cancer services into an effective new zone to support improved patient experiences
- A fit-for-purpose Older Person’s Unit providing a secure ward to meet the needs of older patients, particularly those with dementia
- A new Sleep Study Centre
- A new General Medical/Surgical Ward in J-block, as a result of relocating the Older Person’s Unit.
- An expanded ICU with capacity for an additional 12 ICU beds
- An expanded Emergency Department to meet growing demand, with a paediatric precinct, a designated waiting area, more treatment bays and short-stay bays.
- Build a new second angiography suite at the Royal Hobart Hospital;
- Deliver state-of-the-art equipment to provide better care; and
- Help ensure the recruitment and retention of specialist staff.
- Community nursing;
- Child Health and Parenting services;
- Physiotherapy and other allied health services;
- Oral health and mental health services; and
- Visiting specialist services.
Detailed design work will commence within the first 100 days of a re-elected majority Liberal Government and we will engage closely with clinicians and staff to finalise plans for this upgrade.
Construction is expected to commence during the next term of the Government with construction works carefully phased to minimise service disruption.
Build a brand new second angiography suite at the Royal Hobart Hospital and upgrade equipment
To meet increasing patient demand and support better care for patients requiring interventional neuroradiology, stroke services, and vascular procedures, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will –
- Community nursing;
- Child Health and Parenting services;
- Physiotherapy and other allied health services;
- Oral health and mental health services; and
- Visiting specialist services
A $7 million capital investment with operational funding of $250,000 once the new suite is finished, will enable the upgrade and staffing of the new facilities.
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 this 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.
Build the $30 million Stage II Kingston health centre, to deliver even more community health facilities for this growing region
The Liberal Majority Government built the new million Kingston health Centre in 2019, and a re-elected Liberal Majority Government will deliver the second stage, with a $30 million investment to meet the health needs of this growing region.
This will be built at Kingston Park, providing even more community health services for the Kingborough area.
Stage II will deliver expanded facilities for key services, including:
Clinical consultation will inform the mix of services for the new facility, including consideration of a hydrotherapy pool at the site.
The Government will work closely with the Kingborough Council and surrounding health services to ensure the benefits of the new Centre are maximised.
Deliver a $1 million upgrade to the Dover Medical Centre to expand and improve access to primary health and GP services
A majority Liberal Government will invest $1 million over two years to significantly upgrade the Dover Medical Centre, so it can deliver even more health services for the local region.
The Centre is owned by the Huon Valley Council, and is currently limited with its capacity.
This investment will allow the Council to expand the health services offered through the Centre, including GP services and allied health, such as podiatry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work and psychology services.
The upgraded infrastructure will also support increased teaching and training
Strengthen palliative and community health care 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 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 South
- $21.6 million new HR system for health (currently paper-based and slow)
- $3 million to support GPs and primary care services to provide after-hour services, locally
- Recruiting a new Ambulance crew (12 paramedics) for Hobart
- $10 million rural and regional hospital and ambulance upgrades
- Delivering the $6 million Glenorchy Ambulance Station
Our record in Government:
- Built and opened the new $689 million Royal Hobart Hospital K-block
- Since 2014, have employed 850 extra full-time staff at the Royal Hobart Hospital and in southern health services.
- Established the new Southern Community Rapid Response Services (health care at home)
- Built the new $21 million Glenorchy Health Centre
- Built the first stage Kingston Health Centre
- $700,000 at the New Norfolk District Hospital for vital electrical upgrades and a nurse call system
- $600,000 to improve water supply at the Tasman Multipurpose Centre
- Support to secure GP services in hard-to-staff areas including the Tasman Peninsula, Bruny Island, Central Highlands and Risdon Vale
- Employed 170 more paramedics and dispatch officers State-wide, including –
- New crew for greater Hobart in 2017
- New rural and regional paramedics for Dodges Ferry, Bruny Island and Oatlands
- New dedicated State-wide aeromedical service
- $28 million State-wide investment in new cancer equipment
- Delivering 180 more nurse graduate positions (every year)
- New agreement with Hobart Private Hospital, securing increased ED hours
- Secondary triage for ambulance services (to focus ambulance call-outs on emergency care)
- $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
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
- $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.
Statewide initiatives: $200 million over five years from 2020-21.
Other initiatives: $2 million over four years from 2021‑22.
Southern Policy: $147 million over five years from 2021‑22.
Statewide initiatives: $20 million over two years from 2021‑22.
Up to 280 full-time equivalent staff are expected to support these new and boosted services across Tasmania, with final models of care and staffing requirements to be determined in consultation with clinicians.