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Labor Government will fix digital problems holding back health system

  • Liberals’ chronic underinvestment in IT contributing to health crisis
  • Labor will invest in health system IT /digital infrastructure upgrades
  • Labor’s policy will improve access to patient care

A Majority Labor Government will invest in Tasmania’s IT sector to upgrade the state’s woeful digital public health services and improve Tasmanians’ access to healthcare.

Shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel said the Liberals are running our hospitals on an information system literally held together by paperclips and post-it notes.

“At a time when keeping pace with technological advances is more important than ever, the Liberals have failed to invest in internet, telecommunications and IT,” Dr Seidel said.

“Their chronic underinvestment wastes money, increases bed block and ramping, holds back the delivery of services like telehealth and, ultimately, harms patients, with the IT sector’s peak body saying ‘antiquated paper-based processes’ are ‘choking delivery of essential services’.”

Labor will immediately invest $5 million to ensure patients can book appointments with specialists online, GPs will be able to make electronic referrals to their patients’ local hospitals and will have electronic access to information about their patients’ treatment in the public health and hospital service.

“We will then work with our clinicians, hospital leadership, GPs and nurses to prioritise and fund subsequent rounds of IT upgrades.”

Shadow Minister for Economic Development, Jobs and ICT Michelle O’Byrne said Labor recognises that Tasmanians in all areas need access to internet, mobile and government.

“Along with our health system improvements, Labor will establish a $5 million Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Fund to tackle blackspots and improve mobile and internet reception across the state, leveraging contributions from governments and industry to invest in crucial infrastructure,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“And we will develop a Digital Strategy providing a roadmap to make digital improvements across other government services.

“Labor is committed to fixing our health system and upgrading the efficiency of other public services and our internet and mobile services. Labor’s policy will provide better services while supporting expansion and job creation in the IT sector.”

Michelle O’Byrne MP
Deputy Labor Leader

Bastian Seidel MLC 
Shadow Health Minister