Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

12 July 2019

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Achieving health targets

I am pleased to advise the Department of Health has worked with the Tasmanian Health Service to implement immediate actions following last month’s Access Solutions Meeting in Hobart.

The Access Solutions Meeting, and implementation of these actions, has demonstrated genuine collaboration and engagement across staff and health stakeholders.

As Minister, I want to see this continue – with all stakeholders supported and engaged to help make these changes throughout the health service, rather than have them imposed from the top down.

Improving accessibility to health services is a key priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government, which is why we worked swiftly to implement actions which improve patient flow and maximise emergency department efficiencies at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

We are working to improve access to data to drive timely and quality care, and a working group has now been established to strengthen our engagement with private hospitals.

Addressing patient flow and efficiencies will also be supported by initiatives, including:

  • Developing a new acute level hospital in the home service;
  • Trialling part-time additional pharmaceutical support;
  • Implementing a model for an integrated approach for mental health services, including a hospital avoidance program; and
  • Commissioning inpatient wards in K-Block.

Concurrently, the Secretary of the Department of Health is developing a plan for the number and type of additional beds that should open immediately on the commissioning of K-Block – on top of the existing beds that transfer into the facility.

These actions are supported by the $40 million provided in the 2019-20 Budget for emergency care and bed access, as we address increasing demand.

Our hospitals are extremely busy and our hardworking staff are doing an incredible job under unprecedented increased demand. In addition to the efforts of our own staff we have had very strong support and collaboration from our local private services.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to making a real difference in our health system, and we are investing a record $8.1 billion to deliver a health system that all Tasmanians can be proud of.

We are building on significant progress already made in the past five years, opening more beds, employing more frontline staff and increasing services.

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