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Horror new year continues for ambulance crews and patients as government continues to fail on basic health needs

  • Surge level four declared for 14 hours in southern Tasmania overnight
  • Patients forced to wait for more than four hours to get help
  • Health Minister’s failure to act places all Tasmanians at risk

Paramedics have been pushed to breaking point and patients left at risk with Ambulance Tasmania operating at just one level below disaster response for 14 hours overnight.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said surge level four was declared at 5pm yesterday and remained in place until 7am this morning because health resources were critically inadequate to cope under the Liberal Government.

“To have ambulance crews forced to operate in this unacceptable environment and remain ramped outside the Royal Hobart Hospital for hours on end should tell Health Minister Sarah Courtney that she is presiding over a crisis,” Ms Lovell said.

“To have that same degree of surge response declared almost every day since the beginning of the year should indicate to the Health Minister that the health service she is failing to fund or resource adequately is not only unable to cope, it is at breaking point.

“Ambulance crews are telling the Gutwein Government that patients are waiting more than four hours to receive treatment because they are stretched so thin and that should act as a stark warning that Tasmanians needing medical treatment are being placed in an unacceptably dangerous position.

“But after more than six years of the Liberal Government failing to provide adequate resources , the situation is not improving – it is getting worse.

“It’s not good enough that the Health Minister’s only response to the situation is to say she is monitoring it.

“It’s not good enough that this Minister and this government claim to have put extra resources in place when clearly everybody else can see it’s simply not working.

“This government must address the health crisis and give the frontline the resources it desperately needs because it’s abundantly clear at the moment there are just not enough to go around.”

Sarah Lovell MLC  
Shadow Minister for Health