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Specifics of COVID plan need to be made clear

Premier Peter Gutwein and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff need to clearly outline the government’s COVID plan, particularly how emergency departments will cope with increased demand.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the most recent health dashboard data confirmed what many Tasmanians feared, that the health system is already at breaking point.

“People right across the state have rightly raised concerns about the health system’s ability to cope with a COVID outbreak and the government is yet to comprehensively address them,” Ms White said.

“We know delta will come to Tasmania and we know that our health system is already at breaking point – what is the government doing to prepare?

“Health dashboard data released last Friday shows that four out of five people presenting to the Royal Hobart Hospital emergency department with potentially life threatening illnesses are not seen within clinically recommended timeframes.

“At the Launceston General Hospital 60 per cent of patients with life threating illnesses presenting to the ED are not seen on time.

“This is the reality facing health professionals and patients without COVID in the state, and the government needs to explain how the health system will look when COVID enters.

“Tasmanians have worked incredibly hard to keep each other safe during this pandemic and they have every right to demand more detail on how the government plans to ensure their safety once the borders open.

“We are entering one of the most important phases of the pandemic and Tasmanians need to feel comfortable the government is doing everything they can to keep them safe.”

Rebecca White MP  
Labor Leader