Tasmania’s Shocking Elective Surgery Wait Times Under Opposition Scrutiny

“Matter of life and death”

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Tasmania’s elective surgery waitlist is “a matter of life and death” according to the state’s opposition.

A report published on Wednesday by the Australian Medical Association revealed 62 per cent of category one patients needing treatment within 30 days were attended to in the required time at Launceston General Hospital, while at the Royal Hobart Hospital, it was slightly higher at 63 per cent.

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Shadow Minister for Health Anita Dow said the report, along with Premier Jeremy Rockliff’s admission of his accountability of the poor results, indicated a new health minister was needed.

“Mr Rockliff’s own statement, ‘I’m held accountable as Premier and Health Minister for our waiting lists’, (7 News, 31 January 2023) all add up to the fact that Tasmania needs a new Health Minister,” Ms Dow said in a statement.

“Sadly, people are dying unnecessarily while waiting for treatment in our hospitals due to underfunding and lack of staff.”

Tasmanian AMA President Dr John Saul’s described the report detailing unacceptably poor waiting times in emergency departments and for urgent elective surgery in Tasmania as “disappointing and demoralising”.

Other findings from the report included just 28 per cent of emergency patients at the Royal Hobart Hospital are seen on time (within the prescribed 30 minutes) meanwhile at the Launceston General Hospital it’s 43 per cent of urgent emergency cases seen on time. 

A copy of the report can be found here.

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10 February 2023

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