Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced a $325 million emergency rescue package for Tasmania’s ailing health system.
The Gillard Government’s actions will ease immediate pressures and equip Tasmania’s health system to meet future challenges through the following investments:
- $31.2 million over four years for an elective surgery blitz providing about 2,600 additional surgeries targeted at areas where there are large numbers of patients whose surgery is overdue, such as orthopaedic and cataract surgery;
- About $22 million to establish Walk-in Clinics in Hobart and Launceston that provide care for minor illnesses and injuries, for extended hours and at no charge to patients;
- $48.7 million over four years to support better care in the community to prevent and manage chronic disease through the Tasmanian Medicare Local. Individual GPs will continue to have central responsibility for the clinical care of their patients, with the Tasmanian Medicare Local supporting allied and preventive health services and the coordination of care;
- $74.5 million over four years to provide better care for patients when they are discharged from hospital and better palliative care in the community;
- $53.9 million over four years to train more medical specialists in Tasmania and provide more scholarships for nurses and allied health professionals;
- $15.4 million over four years to address gaps in mental health services;
- $36.8 million over four years to roll out the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record in Tasmania’s hospitals and enable allied health, pathology and diagnostic imaging services to connect to eHealth. In consultations with Minister Plibersek, frontline health professionals emphasised how electronic health records would reduce errors and duplication and improve the efficiency of their work.
- $42.0 million over four years to support innovation in clinical services that would enable care to be delivered more effectively and efficiently. This will include $1 million in seed funding to establish a Virtual Health Sciences Precinct, bringing together Tasmanian hospitals, the University of Tasmania Faculty of Health Science, the Menzies Research Institute, the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust, and appropriate primary care providers.