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Doctors at breaking point as LGH reaches its ‘lowest ebb’

  • Doctors warn patients have died unnecessarily as LGH reaches ‘lowest ebb’
  • Sarah Courtney must fix chronic bed block and understaffing
  • Serious concerns of overcrowding means the LGH isn’t COVID safe

Sarah Courtney must address serious concerns of health professionals at the Launceston General Hospital to prevent more unnecessary deaths.

Labor Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne said doctors at the LGH had reached breaking point.

“For months, Tasmanian health professionals have been working tirelessly to hold the health system together in the middle of a pandemic,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“The consequences of the Government’s deep budget cuts did not go away, they were just temporarily pushed from the headlines.”

Registrars have provided a devastating account of the conditions at the LGH in a letter to Tasmanian Health Service management.

They write:

“The General has been part of this community since 1883 and right now it is at its lowest ebb.

“As a group, we can no longer be silent about the safety of our patients… We come to work each day knowing our workplace is not safe for patients and that we will be forced to give suboptimal care.

“Our patients have died unnecessarily, they have died because we did not have appropriate space to treat and monitor them.”

“The Registrars have also raised serious concerns about the LGH not being COVID safe, warning overcrowding in the ED has made social distancing impossible and the negative pressure ward used to isolate suspected COVID-19 cases, doesn’t work because of a broken fan.

“Many of the actions the doctors have called for to address problems at the LGH  were agreed outcomes of the Access Solutions Meeting in June last year.

“Despite committing in October to roll out changes at the LGH to reduce bed block and improve patient flow, almost a year later and no changes have been implemented and the situation at the hospital has worsened.

“Sarah Courtney needs to fix the chronic bed block and understaffing at the LGH before more patients die unnecessarily.”

Michelle O’Byrne MP
Labor Member for Bass