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Major boost in frontline medical staff will slash out-of-control waiting lists at North West Regional Hospital

  • 25 additional nurses and 12 new specialist doctors for North West
  • New mental health facility for hospital
  • Waiting lists for north west Tasmanians have spiralled to unacceptable levels under Liberals

A Majority Labor Government will significantly boost frontline medical staff at the North West Regional Hospital after seven years of cuts and neglect under the Liberals.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said 25 additional permanent nurses and 12 new permanent specialist doctors would be employed at a cost of $23.4 million over the next four years to help slash waiting lists and solve the disaster the Gutwein Government has created for both patients and staff in the region.

Additionally, Labor will fund a new $67.5 million mental health facility at the hospital as well as funding upgrades, more beds and bringing back maternity services.

“The situation the Liberals have created at this important regional hospital has become intolerable for patients and the dedicated frontline staff alike,” Ms White said.

“The Gutwein Government has made it near impossible for staff to carry out their jobs and provide the community with the best possible medical care.

“Additionally, we know that mental ill health is one of the biggest issues facing Tasmanians and the Gutwein Government has done little to increase access to care over the past seven years.

“The new mental health facility at the hospital will increase access and finally allow Tasmanians suffering mental ill health to get the treatment they require and deserve.”

Shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel said the health crisis the Liberals had created and presided over meant that north west Tasmanians simply could not receive treatment at a time when more than 50,000 people are waiting for a specialist appointment and more than 12,000 languish on elective surgery wait lists.

“It is an impossible situation with people living in pain and actually dying waiting for the Liberals to get them help and that is help the Gutwein Government is clearly not interested in delivering when you look at their disgraceful track record over the past seven years and, in particular, since the last election three years ago,” Dr Seidel said.

“Surgery waiting lists at the NWRH have increased by 106 per cent since the last election.

“The waiting list to see a specialist at the NWRH has increased by 82 per cent since the last election

“The time it takes to get a hip replacement at the NWRH has blown out from 155 days to 341 days since the last election.

“The time it takes to get a knee replacement at the NWRH has blown out from 240 days to 423 days since the last election.

“Those are the kind of sad statistics that paint a true picture of the Liberals’ health crisis.

“Peter Gutwein and his Health Minister Sarah Courtney are well aware of this disaster but their lack of action and their failure to address this unacceptable situation speaks volumes.”

Rebecca White MP
Labor Leader

Dr Bastian Seidel MLC
Shadow Health Minister