Since becoming Health Minister, I have had the great privilege of regularly meeting with doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers across our health system.
Our hardworking staff at the Launceston General Hospital do an outstanding job, at times under real pressure. As a government, we are continuing our efforts to build a better health system. Importantly, we want our staff and stakeholders supported and engaged to work with us on the changes that are needed to deliver the outcomes we all want. I have asked the Secretary of the Department to consider concerns raised in a letter sent to local management, who will be engaging closely with these staff members. I have also spoken to senior clinicians at the LGH in recent days.
I acknowledge the range of long-standing challenges raised in the letter, including cultural impacts of bed block, the need to ensure we are effectively using regional and private hospital beds, and opportunities to invest in innovative care models.
We also know that demand on our whole health systems is continuing to increase, as we see more chronic disease across our population, which is also ageing. That is why we have committed an additional $600 million in the health system over the next four years as well as recruiting more staff.
Indeed since 2014, we have recruited more than 500 new FTE staff for the LGH – these are additional positions, not simply replacing retiring staff. In the last year alone, we have recruited nearly 40 FTE doctors at the hospital to help meet increased demand.
The recommenced master-planning process will also be considering our future infrastructure needs, which is part of the $87 million LGH redevelopment. I thank the members of the community who have already provided important feedback through the consultation period. As a frequent visitor to the LGH, I’ll continue to listen to clinicians’ views and ideas as we continue taking action to improve our health system. By working together we will deliver the health outcomes we need for our community.
And while we continue to collaborate and implement a range of initiatives, we are all still working hard to further prepare and respond to COVID-19. Our hardworking professionals are helping staff testing clinics, supporting our aged care sector and continuing preparations within each of our facilities. Our LGH staff are on the frontline of those efforts and I thank them for their commitment to the Northern community in what has been an extraordinary time. The dedication and commitment of our healthcare professionals is appreciated by us all.
- Sarah Courtney, Health Minister
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