Tasmania Minister for Health Michael Ferguson
$6.4 Billion Record Investment In Tasmania’s Health System
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said that the Hodgman Government is investing an unprecedented $6.4 Billion over the 2016-17 Budget and Forward Estimates in Health.
“$600 Million more than the former Labor-Green Government’s last Budget including opening beds, conducting more surgeries and employing more frontline clinical staff.” Mr. Ferguson said.
“This is in stark contrast to the Labor-Green record in Government of cutting $500 Million from health, closing wards and locking away hospital beds, cutting mental health jobs, high levels of ambulance ramping and the nation’s worst elective surgery waiting list.”
“Hodgman Government has made rebuilding Tasmania’s health system a key priority and this is reflected in the actions we have taken.” Mr. Ferguson said.
“As a Government we recognise the constant challenge to meet the demand in our health system and that is why we’re prepared to do more to meet this challenge, including additional investment in the May Budget.”
“Responding to this demand and building a health system for the future, is only possible with the Budget back on track.” Mr. Ferguson said.
Hodgman Government Achievements Include:
*Record health funding:
Our last Budget included spending $6.4 Billion on health more than $600 Million than the last Labor-Green Budget, and we’ll continue to invest in health in our coming Budget.
Nurses up an extra 140 FTE at June 30 2016 than in 2014, doctors an extra 32.63 FTE at June 30 2016 than the previous year, allied health professionals an extra 30 FTE at June 30 2016 than the previous year and additional paramedics up 9.79 % to 340.13 at June 30 2016.
We are opening 50 across the state in Southern Tasmania 27, LGH 15 and NWRH 8. Once the $689 Million RHH Redevelopment is complete there will be additional capacity of 250 beds.
*Reduced elective surgery waiting lists:
Waiting lists are the shortest they have ever been. More than 3,300 surgeries and procedures at the Mersey’s Dedicated Elective Surgery Centre since July 2016.
*Healthier elective surgery waiting list at RHH:
Number of people who had waited too long for surgery at the RHH at the end of March 2017 was fewer than 800 it peaked at almost 3,000 under Labor and the Greens in 2011.
*Improvement in outpatient waiting times at RHH:
Outpatient waiting list fell by more than 600 in 2016, with a reduction in the average waiting time.
*More people through RHH Emergency Department within 4 hours:
63 % of patients left the ED within four hours so far in 2016-17, compared to rates of 40 % and 50 % under the former Government. The percentage of people who left the ED before being seen is at a 6 year low.
*Ramping at the RHH is down:
1,500 fewer hours ramped in 2016 compared to 2013 under Labor and the Greens a reduction of more than 60 %.
*Ramping down at the LGH since we re-opened Ward 4D:
Now at its lowest level in at least the last 5 financial years.
Health expenditure is of vital importance to people as is Education. However Transport Budgets in every Territory*, State and Federal Governments should be equal to that of Health and Education.
Transport expenditure is separate to that of roads. Transport takes in Buses, Light Rail, Trams, Heavy Rail Trains and Capital City-Capital City High Speed Rail (aka Japan’s Bullet Train)
Transport also includes a roll-on roll-off Rail Ferry across Bass Strait and associated Railway improvements.
Transport Budget expenditure lags behind road funding and therein lies the problem.
$27 Billion is the short answer.
Transport expenditure should not be seen as some sort of ‘cause’ or ‘crusade’ as the cost of road accidents to the economy is $27 Billion p.a.
According to the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional in April 2017 the annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is estimated at $27 Billion p.a. and the social impacts are devastating.
$27 Billion would pay for High Speed Rail to every Capital City and a roll-on roll-off Rail Ferry across Bass Strait in 1 year.***
Further to the $27 Billion there are nearly 100 people killed or injured at Railway Level Crossings every year throughout Australia.**
Transport takes pressure off roads which reduces death tolls, accidents, family and personal grief and associated Health expenditure.
Previously as a Taxi Driver in Sydney, Editor Victor P Taffa knows only too well what congestion and associated Health problems that causes people.
*Northern Territory should be granted Statehood within existing boundaries where Darwin makes local decisions rather than a Federal Minister for Territories based in Canberra many thousands of kilometres away.
Statehood enables people to own their own homes through Torrens or Strata Title as is the case in the State of New South Wales.
**Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) Australian Transport Safety Bureau. (2012).
*** 85% of HSR corridors require Federal-State cooperation that would save billions of dollars.