LGH emergency department specialists get more attractive salary packages

Launceston General Hospital emergency department staff specialists have had their salary packages increased.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson described it as “an important breakthrough.”

However, Labor’s health spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said the Minister must provide details.

“We’ve been able to secure attractive salary arrangements to recruit and also retain existing emergency department staff specialists at the LGH,” Mr Ferguson said.

“I think that’s a real win and we can use that to advertise to attract more staff to come, noting that we have just recruited two (specialists) with the next one to come in June.”

However, Ms Lovell said it was not just about salaries alone.

“Doctors and nurses at the LGH are working long hours under enormous stress and intense pressure,” she said.

“Morale is at an all time low and salary on its own is not going to cut it.”

In March this year, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine announced that it was suspending accreditation for emergency medicine trainees because the LGH did not meet college requirements.

Mr Ferguson said work was being done with the college to try to have the suspension lifted.

He also on Thursday dismissed suggestions that the government’s policy on abortions had changed after it was revealed that terminations had been done at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Ms Lovell and Greens leader Cassy O’Connor argue that terminations should be available in the State’s public hospitals.