Tasmanian health system described as 'worst' in the country by peak bodies

Tasmania’s health bodies have come together to label the public hospital system as the worst in the country.

Representatives from the Australian Medical Association, Australian National Midwifery Association, HACSU, Royal Hobart Hospital Medical Staff Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and independent health analyst Martyn Goddard came together on Monday to provide a united voice and raise some of the issues putting pressure on the system.

A new report from the parties said Tasmania has the worst performing public hospital system in the nation. A critical shortage of beds, bed block, a chaotic flu season, a "dire" mental health situation, staff shortages and ambulance ramping were just a few of the issues mentioned as facing hospitals. 

However, Health Minister Michael Ferguson described the issues as “rubbish” and said the state government had invested a record $6.4 billion into the system.

Tasmanian health issues are not strangers to media headlines, there has often been stories circulating about ‘crises’ in the system.  Health is an emotive issue, everyone has stories about their family’s health concerns and whether they were met and everyone has an idea about how the system should be ‘fixed’.

No one ever likes being in hospitals – being sick is inherently negative, so it’s no wonder health systems are often seen in a negative light.

However, when several organisations come together to present a united front about the issues facing the health system presents a strong argument.

Rather than several voices with separate arguments, the more voices that come together give more legitimacy to the claims being made.

The hospital system’s issues have not been shied away from by the state government – Health Minister Michael Ferguson often acknowledges them.

In addition, they are not going to be fixed overnight and despite the government’s investment in the area it is clear much more needs to be done.

It is important the state unites for a single health system that works for Tasmanian patients and transcends political argument and provides the best health outcomes.

Because every patient deserves first-class health care and the support they need in the transition to and from hospital – whatever part of the state they live in.