GST assurances over health funding welcomed Fri 15 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier, Lara Giddings, today welcomed the Federal Government's announcement of additional funding for the Tasmanian health system. Ms Giddings said she was particularly pleased the Commonwealth had agreed to exempt the $325 million package from the GST distribution process. "I met with the Prime Minister on this matter in Brisbane earlier this week and had a follow-up conversation last night and I was pleased to receive assurances that this funding would not negatively affect our share of the GST," Ms Giddings said. "My position has always been that additional funding should not come at the expense of GST which is spent on other core services like education and police." Ms Giddings said the Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne and the Tasmanian Health Department had worked with the Commonwealth on the design of this $325 million health package. "This is welcome assistance that will allow us to take pressure off areas like elective surgery while ensuring that we can continue to drive the efficiencies required under national health reform. "I am confident the Federal Government understands that we need to fix the structural inefficiencies in our health system in order to respond to the challenges of an aging and decentralised population. Ultimately a more efficient and streamlined health system will lead to better health outcomes for patients."