a majority liberal government:
- Deliver 48 paramedics over the next two years – in addition to more than 170 additional full-time equivalent additional Paramedics and Dispatch Officers recruited since our election in 2014.
- New paramedics will be recruited to both urban and regional locations across the State.
- Once all 48 paramedics are in place, commission a review of ambulance service demand for best-targeted future investment, considering the impact of hospital and ambulance avoidance programs, including Community Rapid Response, Hospital in the Home, secondary triage, and new hospital beds.
- Upgrade our Ambulance Tasmania vehicle fleet and deliver the contemporary equipment our paramedics need, investing an additional $9 million.
- Commence good faith negotiations with the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a long-term strategic partnership to support health services in remote and rural areas of the State.
- Increase aeromedical support with a new helipad for the East Coast, to be located near the new St Helens Hospital, with an investment of $300,000*.
- Increase aeromedical support with a new helipad at Dover, to support the Esperance Multi-Purpose Centre, with an investment of $300,000.
- Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association of Tasmania, to work together on attraction, retention, training and support for ambulance volunteers.
- Invest $5.1 million* over two years to pilot an Emergency Mental Health Co-Response Team model to be established in southern Tasmania by the end of 2021.
- Provide an additional $1.5 million per annum for the Health and Wellbeing of all emergency service personnel and volunteers*.
- Provide $3.5 million to refurbish and upgrade the Midlands Multipurpose Centre at Oatlands.
- Deliver a boost of $3.4 million for rural hospital staffing and a further $5 million for new equipment for our rural hospitals.
- Provide more lifesaving defibrillators throughout our communities, with a further investment of $500,000.
- 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*.
- Continue to invest in local regional health facilities, including:
- Building the $30 million Stage II Kingston health centre, to deliver even more community health facilities for this growing region*.
- Delivering a $1 million upgrade over the Dover Medical Centre to expand and improve access to primary health and GP services*.
- Improve access to health services for all Tasmanians, regardless of where they live, we will also:
- Slash elective surgery waiting lists and deliver an additional 22,300 elective surgeries and endoscopies by investing an additional $120 million for a total investment of $156.4 million to deliver a record program of elective surgery*.
- Provide an additional 20,000 dental appointments State-wide, across emergency dental, general dental care and denture clinics*.
- Strengthen palliative and community health care with an additional $52.0 million for in-home and local community-delivered health services*.
- Double the capacity for cancer treatment at the North-West Cancer Centre, with an investment of $8.1 million over the next four years*.
The Tasmanian 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, up from 25 per cent a decade ago.
This massive injection of funding has allowed the Government to employ over 1500 more full-time health staff, including 170 more full-time paramedics and dispatch officers, build and upgrade health and ambulance facilities around the State, and deliver new health care services.
We know there is more to do, and this Plan lays out what we’ll do to address immediate challenges, especially demand for ambulance services and how we will continue to improve rural health care and rural hospital facilities for our regional communities.
Deliver 48 paramedics over the next two years
The Liberal Government has already employed 170 more full-time paramedics and dispatch officers since our election in 2014.
We will add to this by recruiting an additional 48 FTE permanent paramedics over the next two years.
This includes the 24 new paramedics for two crews in Launceston and Hobart announced in mid-March this year.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will boost our ongoing rural and regional paramedic program, to provide a further 24 paramedics in rural and regional Tasmania over the next four years.
This includes the continued delivery of our commitment from the 2018 Election, which has seen paramedics placed around the State, as well as 12 additional paramedics.
These paramedics will help meet demand for ambulance services, leading to better response times across the State.
Subject to consultation with the local workforce and ambulance officer volunteers, we will place 24 additional permanent paramedics across all regions of the State, including:
- Three new paramedics each for Sheffield, Dodges Ferry, Campbell Town, and New Norfolk.
- Two new paramedics each for St Helens, the West Coast and the North East.
- Making permanent the placement of two paramedics each for Swansea, Miena and Bruny Island, to work closely with volunteers to support the local services, securing services put in place temporarily during COVID-19.
We will establish Double Branch Stations in Sheffield, Dodges Ferry, Campbell Town, with three new paramedics at each station, providing 24/7 paramedic coverage.
For the West Coast and the North East, we will consult with local paramedics and the community on the best model and location for place two additional paramedics in each of those regions.
For New Norfolk, we will consult with local paramedics and the community on the best model for three new paramedics.
We expect to have the 48 paramedics in place within the next two years, at a cost of $26.8 million over four years.
Commission a review of ambulance service demand
Once all 48 paramedics are in place, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will commission a review of ambulance service demand for best-targeted future investment.
The review in 2023, in two years’ time, will be able to consider the impact of our investment into hospital and ambulance avoidance programs, including Community Rapid Response, Hospital in the Home, secondary triage and new hospital beds.
The review will consider how we make further improvements and target investment to meet demand and provide better care for Tasmanians.
Upgrade our Ambulance Tasmania vehicle fleet and deliver the contemporary equipment our paramedics need, investing an additional $9 million
A Majority Liberal Government recognises that with more paramedics, it is vital we provide new vehicles, replace ageing stock, and will upgrade and replacement critical equipment to support our paramedics.
Without the right tools, our paramedics can’t do their job, and we are providing an additional $9 million for new vehicles for the Ambulance Tasmania fleet, replacing ageing stock, and will upgrade and replacement critical equipment to support our paramedics.
Provide more lifesaving defibrillators throughout our communities, with a further investment of $500,000
In addition to the over 180 defibrillators delivered to Tasmanian community groups since our election in 2014, we will provide an additional $500,000 over two years for a third round of the highly successful Community Defibrillator Fund.
We expect this to provide another 180 defibrillators to help save lives, right around the State.
Memorandum of Understanding with the Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association of Tasmania
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government recognises the valuable contribution made by our ambulance volunteers to our health service, and the care and dedication they have for their local communities.
Within 30 days of re-election, we will commence work with the Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association of Tasmania, on a Memorandum of Understanding, to work together on attraction, retention, training and support for ambulance volunteers.
This will include ensuring volunteers are supported with contemporary training and new equipment, and we’ll provide $50,000 to the association to support his work.
Memorandum of Understanding to Secure The Future Of The Royal Flying Doctor Service in Tasmania
A re-elected Majority Gutwein Liberal Government will commence good faith negotiations with the Royal Flying Doctor Service within our first 30 days of taking office, on a long-term strategic partnership to support health services in Tasmania.
This will ensure the important services that the RFDS provides to rural and regional communities across the State can continue into the future, including aero-medical flight services, as well as primary health care in rural and regional areas, with a particular focus on dental and mental health.
A long-term partnership will also allow the RFDS to undertake aircraft and infrastructure upgrades, ensuring they have what they need for the future.
To support his service boost, we will provide $300,000 to the RFDS for the provision of oral health care in regional Tasmania, with an initial focus on the West Coast, Huon Valley and Central Tasmania.
$600 000 to increase aeromedical support with new helipads for St Helens and Dover
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will construct new permanent helipads at St Helens and Dover.
This additional investment of $600,000 will boost our aeromedical response capabilities to support the successful operation of the dedicated State-wide Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, following on from the delivery of new helipads at the RHH, Mersey and North-West Regional Hospitals over the past three years.
This critical infrastructure has been invaluable for the Tasmanian community, allowing seriously ill or injured patients to be transferred quickly from hospital, medical centres and places of illness or injury, to the best hospital for their needs.
On the East Coast, the new helipad will be built adjacent to the new $12.1 million St Helens District Hospital we built in 2019.
With an increasing number of visitors to this region to use the popular mountain bike trails, this investment is a timely addition to our rural health infrastructure.
At Dover, the new helipad will support aeromedical retrievals from the Esperance Multi-Purpose Centre, including those requiring care after misadventure in the world class wilderness areas in Southern Tasmania.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will work closely with the Huon Valley Council to determine the most appropriate site for the helipad.
It is expected that these helipads will be completed in 2022.
Invest $5.1 million over two years to pilot an Emergency Mental Health Co-Response Team model to be established in southern Tasmania by the end of 2021*.
The Co-Response Team will comprise mental health workers, including clinicians, who will travel with police and ambulance officers to attend mental health-specific Triple 000 calls. Secondary triage clinicians will be tasked with specialist mental health triage to support Police and Ambulance dispatch officers.
This new service to meet growing demand is based on the successful PACER model in the ACT which resulted in 80 per cent of people seen by the PACER team being able to stay in the community, only 12 per cent of people required transport to the Emergency Department compared to 56 per cent previously. Further, 80 per cent of people seen by the PACER team did not re-present to any emergency service within the following 2 weeks.
This initiative will deliver better outcomes for Tasmanians, increase the capacity of Police and Ambulance to respond, and reduce hospitalisations and restrictive practices. In our first 100 days, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will commence, through an inter-agency Mental Health Co-Response Reference Group, developing the operational service model for the pilot.
Provide an additional $1.5 million per annum for the Health and Wellbeing of all emergency service personnel and volunteers*.
Since 2018 the Government has already provided $6 million into a nation-leading Health and Wellbeing Program for our emergency service personnel.
This is in recognition of the challenging work that our emergency service personnel undertake and the risk factors that can impact their mental and physical health.
Additionally, the Government has also provided $250,000 to provide preventative mental health and wellbeing services for our emergency service volunteer workforce.
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide an additional $1.5 million per annum into this Health and Wellbeing Program, which will take the funding to $3 million per annum.
This additional funding will allow for additional services, such as psychologists, and to ensure that all our emergency service personnel and volunteers are able to receive the support that they require from the Health and Wellbeing Program.
$3.5 million to refurbish and upgrade the Midlands Multipurpose Centre at Oatlands
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will provide $3.5 million to upgrade the Midlands Multi-Purpose Centre.
These upgrades will be focused increasing the comfort of facilities for patients and residents, including delivering improved bathroom access and privacy.
This new commitment builds on the recent $2.5 million redevelopment, promised in the 2018 election and which was completed in 2019.
Deliver a boost of $8.4 million for rural hospital staffing and equipment
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government provided $8.4 million to boost rural hospital staffing and support the purchase of new equipment.
This boost includes $3.4 million over four years to boost staffing at rural hospitals across the State, providing additional staffing at New Norfolk District Hospital, West Coast District Hospital, St Helens District Hospital, May Shaw at Swansea and North East Soldiers Memorial Hospital at Scottsdale.
In addition, funding of $5 million will be provided for new and upgraded hospital equipment across our rural hospitals.
This includes $600,000 for New Norfolk District Hospital and North East Soldiers Memorial Hospital, and $400 000 for St Helens District Hospital and West Coast District Hospital, as well as $200,000 to support May Shaw at Swansea.
This will help support health care in communities which are close to world-class mountain biking tracks and at Swansea which is seeing increasing tourism, and help support the response to trauma patients.
In addition, funding of $200,000 per hospital will be provided to purchase new and upgraded equipment for:
- King Island Hospital and Health Centre.
- Smithton District Hospital and Community Services.
- Beaconsfield District Health Service.
- Campbell Town Health and Community Service.
- Deloraine District Hospital.
- Flinders Island Multi-Purpose Centre.
- George Town District Hospital and Community Centre.
- Midlands Multi-Purpose Health Centre.
- May Shaw Health Centre at Swansea.
- St Marys Community Health Centre.
A further $1 million will be used to buy equipment to support other THS sites, as well as services contracted through other providers, including those at Franklin, Longford, Huon and Dover.
We will work closely with the local health services and community in each area to determine the best equipment upgrades to support health services in these areas, and respond to local needs.
This new funding is in addition to over $24 million towards rural and regional hospital and ambulance upgrades already underway or delivered at more than 40 facilities around the State.
GP After Hours Support
A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will make it easier for Tasmanians to access medical care close to home by working with the primary health sector to implement support and encouragement program for primary health services, like pharmacies, and local GPs to provide after-hours services for their local communities.
We will provide $3 million for this initiative, which will complement the Community Rapid Response and Secondary Triage programs, and subject to consultation with the primary care sector, we intend to have these incentives in place by the end of June this year.
This will complement the $1 million Hospital Avoidance Co-Investment fund, announced previously, which will 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.
In addition, we have already announced we will:
- 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.
- Co‑investment fund to match capital upgrades to allow improved after-hours care.
- Build the $30 million Stage II Kingston Health Centre;
- Deliver a $1 million upgrade to the Dover Medical Centre;
- Improve access to health services for all Tasmanians with a $52 million boost for in-home and local community-delivered health services.
- Slash elective surgery waiting lists and deliver an additional 22,300 elective surgeries and endoscopies.
- Provide an additional 20,000 dental appointments State-wide, across emergency dental, general dental care and denture clinics.
These policies can be found at www.tas.liberal.org.au
Current work underway right now
- $10 million rural and regional hospital and ambulance upgrades underway at more than 40 facilities around the State.
- Enabling GPs to prescribe medical cannabis.
- Completing the $10.5 million redevelopment of the King Island Hospital.
- Delivering the new $6 million Burnie Ambulance Station, the new $6 million Glenorchy Ambulance Station and the $1.1 million Smithton Ambulance Station upgrade.
Our record in Government:
- Employed 170 more paramedics and dispatch officers State-wide – a 50 per cent increase.
- New dedicated State-wide aeromedical service, delivering life-saving care faster and to more regional areas across the state.
- $28 million State-wide investment in new cancer equipment.
- Completed the new $12.1 million St Helens Hospital.
- Completed rural Hospital and Community Health Centre upgrades at Beaconsfield, Burnie, Campbell Town, Central Coast, Cygnet, Flinders Island, Deloraine, Devonport, George Town, Huonville, King Island, Launceston, New Norfolk, the Tasman Peninsula, Scottsdale, St Marys and the West Coast.
- Completed Ambulance station upgrades at Huonville, Deloraine, Zeehan, New Norfolk, George Town, St Helens, as well as delivered the new Campbell Town Station.
- Secondary triage for ambulance services (to focus ambulance call-outs on emergency care).
- $6 million for mental health and wellbeing for first responders (including paramedics).
- Nation-leading presumptive PTSD laws.
- Over 180 defibrillators delivered to Tasmanian community groups.
- Continuing to support Ambulance Office Volunteers through a $800,000 support package, providing greater training, equipment and resources to increase volunteer recruitment and retention.
Under the last Labor-Green Government between 2010 and 2014:
- Sacked 287 nurses over a nine-month period.
- 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 the Liberal new paramedics for regional areas.
- proposed closing hospitals.
This policy costs $52 million over five years.
*Costed under another policy.