Health lobby groups have said the state budget provides little to solve bed-block issues and problems in public hospital emergency departments.
Emergency department admissions totalled 156,587 in 2016-17 and the budget anticipates this number will rise to 161,922 next financial year.
Yet, funding for emergency department services will only increase by $2.3 million in 2018-19 to reach $68.3 million.
That is just a 3.3 per cent rise on this funding this financial year.
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine president Dr Simon Judkins said the budget did not go far enough to address existing resource pressures and increased patient demand for emergency care.
“This places an unfair burden on staff to scramble to find solutions rather than strategically respond to rises in demand,” he said.
“It also impacts their ability to reduce the risk of harm to patients.”
Dr Judkins said the organisation looked forward to working more closely with the department when the Tasmanian Health System was restructured next month through the removal of THS head David Alcorn and its governing council.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson on Thursday said 76 of the 298 new hospital beds promised in the election campaign would be rolled out over the next four years.
He said the remainder will be opened once ward upgrades and redevelopments were completed.
The first of the 250 new beds for the Royal Hobart Hospital will open in 2021 as extensive capital works near completion.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Emily Shepherd said 76 new beds was not going to address bed-block issues.
“Obviously there is a commitment to further capital works but some of them won’t be realised until 2021,” she said.
Ms Shepherd said the government’s 2 per cent pay cap on public servants meant nurses and midwives were the worst paid in the country.
“How on Earth are they going to staff their additional inpatient beds … with the current vacancies which are at 200?,” she said.
"How are we going to keep our graduate nurses here or attract nurses from other states?”