Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin has applauded Speaker Sue Hickey’s intervention into the Tasmanian hospitals debate, saying he had been making similar points for over a decade.
“With successive State Governments it has always been about short term fixes and never about the long term planning needed to get our hospitals off life support,” Senator Martin said.
“Despite record health funding from the Commonwealth to Tasmania, there is a deadly game of musical beds being played out between Launceston General Hospital, North West Regional Hospital in Burnie and Mersey Community Hospital at Latrobe”
“The State Government’s response to this endemic crisis is to fly nurses and clinicians in from the mainland and build helipads to fly patients to other hospitals.”
“This is an incredibly expensive and short sighted response to the crisis and has clearly not worked for the past decade.”
“That is why I share Speaker Hickey’s view that the Hobart Liberal Government does need to sit down with stakeholders including those from regional Tasmania and set a new course.”
“That is what we did to save Mersey Community Hospital from the Hobart axe in 2007 and that is what must be done now,” Senator Martin concluded.