TASMANIANS might never see the bulk of the $325 million four- year health rescue package announced by federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek last June.
There is no guarantee that the $197.8 million set aside for the last two years of the rollout would survive a change of federal government in September.
But even before Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the election this week, there was little evidence of Plibersek rescue money being spent.
Ms Plibersek said at the time that the assistance package to be rolled out over four years was in response to Tasmania's health financial crisis at a time of savage state budget cuts.
The financial package was split four ways with the biggest portion to be spent in the last two years of the rollout, from 2014 to 2016.
State Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne announced last September that Tasmania would receive $8.8 million this financial year of the $30.5 million over four years set aside from the rescue package for elective surgery.
Northern Tasmania's nearly $3 million share of the $8.8 million bought 22 knee operations, 20 hip procedures, 200 cataracts, 45 hernias, 40 gall bladders, two spinal fusions and 30 urological-related procedures.
Most of the extra elective surgery procedures were performed soon after agreement was reached between the federal and state governments over the funding which was eventually delivered.
Nearly $128 million of the $325 million rescue package has been earmarked by the federal government to be spent between 2012 and 2014.
More than $62 million of that is to be administered by the state's new Medicare Local.
Medicare Local chief executive Phil Edmondson said this week that the agency had signed contracts with the federal Department of Health and Ageing in December to manage three programs to be delivered by 2016.
"On signing the contracts, Medicare Local commenced planning work including consultation with program partners and stakeholders," he said.
"This will continue until June this year - we won't know the exact shape of many of the services until this process is complete."
The programs are:
$13.7 million over four years to target known lifestyle-related health risk factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and poor diet.
$37.7 million over four years to pilot better planning of care for people with chronic and complex conditions and for aged care clients.
$11.4 million over four years to better manage transition of patients between the acute, primary and aged care sectors.
Denison MHR Andrew Wilkie, who campaigned for the federal health rescue package, said yesterday that he had no doubt that all the money would be forthcoming regardless of the election results.
But he said that he was disappointed to hear that the delivery of the money was slow.