News, media releases

More evidence of health system in crisis; swept under the carpet by the Liberals

  • Secret report presents damning evidence of health system in crisis
  • Paramedics left high and dry by an under-resourced system
  • Paramedic and patient health at risk

A leaked report into Ambulance Tasmania provides further damning evidence of the crisis in our health system.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said the findings of the 2018 report – which had been kept secret from Tasmanians until it was leaked this week – paint a distressing picture of how Will Hodgman’s government has abandoned frontline health workers.

“We don’t need a leaked report to tell us that the health system is in crisis and Ambulance Tasmania lacks resources. Six months ago we saw a letter to the head of Ambulance Tasmania warning of catastrophic consequences if the concerns of paramedics were not addressed. Still, the Government has done nothing to fix the problem.

“The leaked report noted fatigue and work stress as key issues affecting paramedics. And is it any wonder, when we have ongoing and severe ambulance ramping, leading to distress for patients and paramedics alike, and – sadly – sometimes resulting in the deterioration of patients’ health and even death while they wait hours or days for treatment.

“It is incredibly difficult for hard-working paramedics to watch patients suffer unnecessarily.

“Sarah Courtney and Will Hodgman have promised to employ more paramedics, but have failed to follow through. The result is ambulance crews redirected to cover shifts in other parts of the state, paramedics having to attend medical emergencies alone, and the dangerous situation of civilians being asked to step in to help.

“Will Hodgman’s failure to address the health and ambulance crisis is putting the lives of Tasmanians at risk.”

Ms Lovell said immediate intervention is needed to ensure the 47 recommendations of the report are implemented.

“Even the report authors note the under-resourcing of Ambulance Tasmania and express concern that this will make it difficult to implement the recommendations.

“That’s simply not good enough. Will Hodgman’s government has a duty of care to its workers, and without investing in the health and wellbeing of paramedics, the fatigue and stress they have been experiencing will only get worse. That will compromise patient care.”

“With health and the ambulance system in the firing line from the Government’s $450 million in budget cuts, we know things will keep getting worse. It’s time for Will Hodgman to reassess his spending priorities and properly fund our health system.”

Sarah Lovell
Shadow Minister for Ambulance Services