Industrial action will continue at Launceston General Hospital, says union

Unions have vowed to continue industrial action at Launceston General Hospital, despite the government announcing a $1.5 million support package to ease emergency department pressures. 

Thursday marked the 36th daily vigil held outside the LGH emergency department by members of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.

ANMF workplace representative for the LGH emergency department Tom Millen welcomed the additional funding, but said the industrial campaign would be continuing. 

“New funds would be best utilised to permanently open up and staff closed beds, improve efficiencies and end the ridiculous Monday to Friday business model that the THS currently employs,” he said.

“Currently, patients can be ready for discharge on a weekend but actually not be discharged until the Monday because the THS does not employ a medical team to assess for discharges over the weekend.

“We look forward to a more consultative and collaborative future with the THS and the [health] minister, but we will continue our daily vigils and our industrial campaign until we see tangible improvements to patient safety at the LGH.”

Health Minister Michael Ferguson revealed details of the support package on Wednesday.

He said the initiatives had been developed by Department of Health secretary Michael Pervan, who would work closely with hospital staff to implement the plans. 

Mr Ferguson said it was disappointing to see increased industrial action, when the government was responding and increasing resources. 

“I don’t want to see industrial action occurring, it shatters confidence in the community,” he said.

“And it doesn’t seem right to be escalating industrial action, when the government is already escalating support, resources and beds.

“The fact is the government are taking action. We are listening and we never stop listening.”

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