Funding uncertainty continues

Funding uncertainty around the Mersey Community Hospital, home to the state’s dedicated elective surgery centre, continues. 

When asked about the impact on elective surgeries if funding is not renewed, a state government spokeswoman said the government was “not contemplating anything other than the MCH’s continued operation”. 

“We will continue to fight tooth and nail to ensure that [continued operation] happens,” the spokeswoman said. 

Between July 2015 and September 2016, 139 Northern Tasmanian elective surgery patients attended the MCH, recent data showed. 

Health Minister Michael Ferguson communicated with Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley last week, to convey the state government’s intention to secure a 10-year commitment from the federal government.

The deal would be under the same terms and conditions as the current contract, and the federal government would retain ownership of the hospital. 

The current two-year funding agreement is valid until June 30, 2017. 

A federal government spokesman said Ms Ley recently met with mayors from the North-West to discuss the MCH.

“The federal and Tasmanian governments are working on funding, ownership and management arrangements for the MCH,” the spokesman said. 

Braddon Labor MHR Justine Keay called on Ms Ley and Tasmanian Liberal Senators to end months of uncertainty around the future of the MCH.

Ma Keay said the community needed “certainty”.