A $240,000 report from 2018 looking at establishing urgent health care centres in Tasmania should be released, Labor MLC Bastian Seidel says.
Dr Seidel, a GP and member for Huon, said primary care was “absolutely essential” to take the pressure off emergency departments at Tasmanian hospitals.
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In Question Time in the Legislative Council, he said the government awarded $240,000 in taxpayers’ funding to an external consultant for a feasibility study on urgent care centres.
“According to the (Health) Department’s annual report on health in Tasmania, the study was completed before Christmas in 2018,” Dr Seidel said.
“Does the government, after paying almost a quarter of a million dollars for a feasibility study, ever intend to release the report to the public, and if so, when?”
Leader for the government in the Legislative Council, Leonie Hiscutt, said the government was always keen to look at opportunities to increase and improve after-hours medical services.
She said urgent care centres operated in other jurisdictions.
“The feasibility study report has been completed and the dept of health will be engaging with key medical stakeholders and releasing the report shortly,” Ms Hiscutt said.
In Western Australia a new care trial has started so patients with urgent but not life-threatening issues can go to a GP quickly.
About 130 GPs have signed up to the trial to treat people with health ailments including minor fractures, dislocations, stings, acute neck pain, and wound infections.
The trial will examine whether treating patients in urgent care centres will reduce pressure on overcrowded hospital emergency departments.