AMA president Stuart Day says Tasmania must plan for future health needs

Aerial view of the Launceston General Hospital
Aerial view of the Launceston General Hospital

Tasmania must stop playing catch up and plan for its health needs, according to AMA Tasmania president Dr Stuart Day.

His comments come after a joint document on public health policy reform was released on Sunday.

The paper called for 200 additional beds for Tasmania’s public hospitals, the appointment of additional hospital staff and the improvement of preventative health services.

“Playing catch up all the time does not deliver the best health outcomes for our community,” Dr Day said.

“AMA Tasmania has and continues to call for both immediate increases in beds, and the staff to run those beds, in order to meet the health needs of our community.”

Additional staff would also increase the capacity to see patients in the outpatient setting by reducing bed block, Dr Day said.

RELATED STORIES:

Also essential was having an administration to run hospitals locally and plan for future needs across the state.

“The AMA agrees that planning for future needs in terms of both space and staffing needs to be considered for Launceston as part of the overall needs of the state,” Dr Day said.

The public hospital policy reform document also called for a new building at the Launceston General Hospital and investigation of a stand-alone public elective surgery centre in Launceston.

Dr Day said the hospital had already undergone and continued signifcant onsite building works, with a new theatre complex with nine theatres and a short stay surgical unit, internal redesign of several wards, a new ICU with space for expansion and a new emergency department.

While Dr Day and the AMA were supportive of exploring innovative solutions for elective surgery, there was already capacity within the LGH for more elective surgery with only seven of the nine theatres running.

“Increased elective surgery throughout requires the appropriate increase in staffing [of] medical, nursing, allied health and support staff,” Dr Day said.