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Patients in chairs, on trolleys, in corridors with hand bells in Ferguson’s horrific hospital plan

·         Health Minister’s millions in underfunding sees patients in chairs with hand bells

·         Health Minister’s millions in underfunding sees patients in chairs with hand bells

·         Doctors and nurses forced into impossible position

·         Ferguson’s plan unacceptable in modern health system

Patients will continue to be placed in chairs, on trolleys, in corridors and issued with hand bells as Health Minister Michael Ferguson again fails on the escalating crisis at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said it was unacceptable that eight months after the hospital’s “over capacity protocol” was first revealed, Michael Ferguson had done nothing to alleviate the situation which was becoming worse.

“The Over Capacity Protocol instructs health staff to place patients in chairs or trolleys in waiting rooms, meeting rooms, dining rooms and sitting rooms and ensure they have hand bells to attract attention,” Ms Lovell said.

“That is a direct result of Michael Ferguson refusing and failing to fund Tasmanian hospitals and it is unacceptable in a modern health system.

“The bottom line is that doctors and nurses have been forced into a position where they need to make decisions about patient care in a system which is chronically underfunded.

“That chronic underfunding has meant health workers are forced to put patients in places that are not set up to provide adequate patient care.

“Nothing has changed since this plan was first revealed last September and in fact, the crisis in the hospital has become worse.

“Michael Ferguson simply will not accept responsibility that the hospital is operating at emergency levels every day and staff are struggling to cope with demand.

“Next week’s State Budget must address the health crisis, particularly the $100 million black hole in health funding each year and make realistic investments into the hospital system.

“This is yet another example of why Tasmania needs a new Health Minister because over the five years that Michael Ferguson has been in the job the crisis in our hospitals has only gotten worse.”

Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Health Minister