TasCOSS's Transforming Tasmania statement highlights need for more preventative health

HEALTHY FUTURE: RFDS chief executive John Kirwan speaks during the launch of TasCOSS's statement of priorities, Transforming Tasmania. Picture: Paul Scambler
HEALTHY FUTURE: RFDS chief executive John Kirwan speaks during the launch of TasCOSS's statement of priorities, Transforming Tasmania. Picture: Paul Scambler

It is “inappropriate” for people in rural and remote Tasmania to be “denied basic primary and preventative care”, Royal Flying Doctor Service chief executive John Kirwan says.

“We have a universal health system – we should be getting the same health services, whether you’re in the North Shore of Sydney or whether you happen to be on the North-East or North-West Coast of Tasmania,” he said.

TasCOSS released a statement of 10 key priorities on Thursday ahead of the state election, which covered health, cost of living, education, housing, employment, families and children, community sector, transport, pokie-free communities, and resilient communities.

Included in the suggestions was a preventative health funding increase to the equivalent of 5 per cent of the health budget by 2020.

Chief executive Kym Goodes said a coordinator-general should be established to oversee the potential projects. She said there needed to be an initial investment of $25 million a year for the next 10 years.

Ms Goodes used the Riverside health precinct as an example of community-focused infrastructure that benefited a community.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the Liberals would put more resources into preventative health if re-elected.

Opposition health spokeswoman Rebecca White said Labor had committed $5 million a year for a “healthy communities commission” to be focused “solely on driving preventative health initiatives” and was committed to a “health in all policies” approach.