Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



1 December 2017

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

White finally admits Labor closed mental health beds

Rebecca White has finally admitted on radio that a decrease in mental health beds occurred under Labor after one year of lying to Tasmanians about it for political point-scoring.

Ms White has repeatedly claimed the Liberal Government was responsible for 10 bed closures, which is wrong.

COMPTON :   We should mention that that happened under your Government before this Government came to power, the ten beds that psychiatrists are pleading with Government to reopen were in fact part of the plan your predecessors in the Labor Party brought to bear.

WHITE :  There used to be forty-two beds, and I acknowledge that under our Government it went to thirty-eight, but this Minister has cut even further, and there are now only thirty-two acute mental health beds in the Royal Hobart Hospital.*

Ms White has a habit of playing politics with health and avoiding the facts because Labor’s record on health is appalling.

Ms White supported Labor’s $500 million in cuts from the health budget, beds going into storage and the sacking of 287 nurses – one a day for nine months.

In relation to mental health beds the current capacity- for 33 beds – is based on previous professional advice. We do however recognise that there is increasing demand which is why the Hodgman Liberal Government  is working with hospital staff to open more mental health beds and create Tasmania’s first child and adolescent mental health unit.

It should be noted that Ms White has confirmed in Parliament this week that Labor opposes the proposed additional mental health beds and has offered no alternative.

*ABC Mornings 1/12/17



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