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Can Ferguson guarantee Morrison’s promise will reduce Tasmania’s elective surgery list?

Health Minister Michael Ferguson must provide a guarantee that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s promise to reduce Tasmania’s rapidly growing and unacceptably high elective surgery wait list will actually be delivered.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said just days after Mr Morrison announced his election health promise to Tasmania, important groups including the Australian Medical Association were already questioning the fine detail.

“Mr Ferguson has to give a guarantee that the thousands of elective surgeries that have been promised can actually be delivered and thousands of Tasmanians will finally get the care they deserve,” Ms Lovell said.

“Federal Labor has $30 million on the table which will address the state’s elective surgery backlog but in contrast, have Mr Ferguson and Mr Morrison only given false hope to the 9,000 Tasmanian people languishing on the elective surgery waiting list?

“Mr Ferguson needs to tell Tasmanians how many of these people will actually be removed from the waiting list as a result of Scott Morrison’s elective surgery commitment and how many elective surgeries will be performed?

“The number of patients waiting for elective surgery has grown by nearly 3,000 to more than 9,000 in just 12 months

“Patients are waiting longer to have their surgery, with the number of patients seen within the clinically recommended time frames falling to just 64 per cent across the state.

“There are nearly 31,000 patients waiting for an appointment with a specialist and just 65 per cent of patients waiting in the Emergency Department are seen within the recommended time frame.

“Tasmanians are not getting the health care they need and Mr Ferguson needs to be honest about whether promises he makes together with his colleagues in Canberra are hollow or in fact can be delivered.”

Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Health Minister