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Critical three-year-old health promises still not delivered by Gutwein Government

As the Tasmanian health system continues to lurch from disaster to disaster the Liberal Government has failed abysmally on crucial resourcing promises it made more than three years ago.

Shadow Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing Dr Bastian Seidel said an important commitment to fast track a so-called dedicated Health Recruitment, Retention and Workforce Planning Unit made by former failed Health Minister Michael Ferguson in 2018 had still not been delivered.

“Mr Ferguson promised to deliver this unit in the first month of the former Hodgman Government in 2018 which he said would deliver more than 1,300 new health staff within six years,” Dr Seidel said.

“Three years on there is no sign of any effort to recruit desperately needed health staff as this government continues to utterly fail Tasmanians with a broken health system.

“The new Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff has talked a big game since he took over the job earlier this year but Tasmanians have not seen any actual genuine effort to improve the health system or to recruit desperately needed staff.

“Given the Liberal’s appalling track record Tasmanians can have no confidence he will deliver.

“The number of Tasmanians languishing on the outpatient wait list has blown out from more than 51,300 to more than 54,400 over the most recent quarter.

“The number of Tasmanians waiting for dental health care has also increased significantly by 2,000 from more than 15,200 to more than 17,200 in that same period.

“We have a new Health Minister who is at the same time accepting responsibility for an unacceptable situation at the state’s top mental health facility the Roy Fagan Centre but failing to do anything to fix it.

“Mr Rockliff is happy to stand in front of the television cameras and try to talk the talk but he has nothing tangible to say that will actually deliver an improved health and hospital system.

“The much-repeated slogan ‘securing Tasmania’s future’ is just a hollow political catchphrase if this Liberal Government does not even want to face the reality of the present.”

Dr Bastian Seidel MLC  
Shadow Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing Minister