An intensive care doctor with more than 20 years' experience has defended the reputation of the Launceston General Hospital after it was scrutinised on national television.
LGH Medical Staff Association chairman Scott Parkes said the hospital had taken a morale hit after being featured on an ABC Four Corners episode highlighting potentially avoidable deaths in regional hospitals.
Dr Parkes, who is also the LGH's director of intensive care, said the fundamental issue plaguing the hospital was a lack of inpatient beds - not the quality of care.
"We [staff] are upset, sad, a little bit hurt, at that report," he said. "I think this is a place where there is a very good spirit.
"Having worked at major city hospitals around the country and around the world, I am most proud of working here.
"I think some of our identity is caught up in what we do and where we work, and it is very upsetting to see that take a hit."
The program, which aired on Monday, shared the story of Turners Beach man John Novaski who was sent home from the LGH in 2017, only to die a day later.
The 76-year-old waited more than five hours in the emergency department before he was assessed for heart problems by a medical student in a waiting room chair.
In an email, sighted by The Examiner, and sent to staff earlier this week in response to the episode, Tasmanian Health Service executive director North and North-West Eric Daniels said he recognised staff were working hard to give the best care possible, often in difficult and stressful circumstances.
"I understand that many of you may be feeling upset and disheartened about the way the LGH was portrayed on the program given how hard you work to ensure patients receive safe and appropriate care," he wrote.
"I want to assure you that your diligence, compassion and professionalism is recognised and appreciated by myself, your colleagues and the wider community."
Tasmania's Health and Community Services Union assistant secretary Robbie Moore said staff across the entire health system were under the pump.
"With a report like that, unfortunately staff feel it reflects on them and the work they do, when we know that so many people get such good outcomes," he said.
"Unfortunately by nature, it is always the bad stories that get the attention.
"Obviously it was a tragic instance that was reported, but we wouldn't want one incident to take away from the fantastic hard work and dedication staff put in everyday."
Mr Daniels said since 2017, staff had worked hard to put additional checks and balances in place to further protect patients and staff.