News, media releases

Health professionals raise serious concerns about impact of Mersey ED reduced hours

  • Serious impacts to patients and hospital staff from reduced Mersey ED hours 
  • Registrars at the LGH speaking out about the knock on effects
  • Sarah Courtney must reopen Mersey ED to 24/7 operation

Sarah Courtney must listen to the serious concerns of health professionals about the knock on effects to other hospitals from reduced hours at the Mersey Community Hospital’s emergency department.

Labor Member for Braddon, Anita Dow, said the Minister had repeatedly ignored the warnings.

“In Question Time today, the Minister failed to detail what additional resources would be provided to the Launceston General Hospital and the North West Regional Hospital to manage the increased demand from reduced hours at the Mersey,” Ms Dow said.

“It’s a question Labor has repeatedly asked only for the Government to accuse us of scaremongering.

“Now we have Registrars at the LGH speaking out about the serious consequences of the Minister’s decisions.”

A letter from Registrars at the LGH to Tasmanian Health Service management states:

“As the Mersey Community Hospital’s ED was scaled back, presentations to our hospital (which was already beyond capacity) increased significantly.”

“Working with this increase workload in a department that is constantly bed-blocked is unacceptable, dangerous and unsustainable.”

“Sarah Courtney must take responsibility for the serious impact to patients and hospital staff from reduced hours at the Mersey’s ED,” Ms Dow said.

“We are calling on the Minister to detail what additional resources the Government has provided to the LGH and NWRH to manage increased demand and give a commitment to reopen the Mersey ED to 24/7 operation as a matter of urgency.

“Tasmanian Labor is listening to the North West community and has launched a petition to restore the Mersey Community Hospital’s 24-hour emergency department.

“People on the North West coast deserve access to essential services and our hardworking health professionals deserve a safe working environment.”

Anita Dow MP
Labor Member for Braddon