Health Minister Michael Ferguson has denied misleading the public about the number of dedicated adolescent mental health beds being established by the government.
During budget estimates on Tuesday, the Legislative Council sought clarification on how many adolescent beds would form part of planned upgrades at the Launceston General and Royal Hobart hospitals.
Mr Ferguson had previously claimed Ward 4K at the LGH would include Tasmania's first dedicated adolescent mental health unit, with the RHH's K block facility to follow.
On Tuesday, chief psychiatrist Aaron Grove said there would be 16 adolescent beds established in the South and eight in the North.
However, he said only two beds at each hospital had been specifically designed for high-risk adolescents presenting as mental health patients.
Mr Ferguson said the government was still determining what the best mix of beds would be, acknowledging the spectrum of illness that needed to be considered.
"What the service is currently doing is consulting and planning the best mix of those beds, and the model of care for those beds," he said.
"We don't want to leave people with an expectation that all of the beds will be dedicated for mental health."
Referring to a statement made by Mr Ferguson on May 30, Labor health spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said his claims of two dedicated mental health adolescent units, rather than "child adolescent units with some mental health beds, the number of which are yet to be determined", were misleading.
"The explanation that you have given now, that the number of beds is yet to be determined, I would say is much clearer than this media release issued in your name," she said.
Dr Groves said it was his expectation that the mental health beds would be staffed by trained specialists, regardless of whether the beds were occupied, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.