EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT AND ELECTIVE SURGERY WAIT TIMES BLOW OUT UNDER TURNBULL

The growing crisis in Tasmania’s public hospitals under the Turnbull and Hodgman Liberal Governments is reflected in the release of the Australian Medical Association’s Hospital Report Card 2017.

 

Emergency Department and elective surgery waiting times are officially the worst they've ever been since records began in 2001.

 

Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader for Tasmania, Senator Helen Polley says that the figures released in this report are shocking and are a consequence of the Liberal Government’s (state and federal) consistent neglect of our public hospitals.

 

“It’s just not good enough. More and more patients needing urgent medical attention are being left in limbo in the Emergency Department.”

 

“According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare only 66 per cent of Emergency Department patients at the Launceston General Hospital classified as urgent were seen within the recommended 30 minutes in 2015-16,” Senator Polley said.

 

“The situation at the Royal Hobart Hospital is even more dire with only 42 per cent of patients classified as urgent in 2015-16 seen in the recommended 30 minute wait time.”

 

“Because of the Government’s cuts our public hospitals aren’t able to keep up with the needs of our growing and ageing population, and the increasing demand for services.”

 

Senator Polley said that the Report Card should serve as a shocking wake-up call to the new Health Minister, Greg Hunt and Premier Hodgman to get serious about properly funding our public hospitals.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to properly invest in our hospitals shows he simply doesn’t care about what is happening to our patients waiting in Emergency Departments, he doesn't care about patients languishing on waiting lists for elective surgery and he doesn't care about our doctors and nurses trying to do the best they can with fewer resources,” said Senator Polley.

“Emergency Department and elective surgery waiting times are getting worse in Tasmania. Our health system is broken and unfortunately this situation will only get worse as the Medicare freeze drives people from seeing their GP into our already strained Emergency Departments.”

“In Senate Question Time Yesterday I asked Senator Nash to confirm that the Government will abandon its 6 year freeze on Medicare – she refused, preferring instead to talk about the Labor Party,” Senator Polley said.

“Mr Turnbull’s failure to invest properly in health isn’t just costing Tasmanians more when they visit the GP – it is hurting them when they walk into our public hospitals as well.”