Doctors at the Launceston General Hospital have written an explosive letter to the state government saying patients have died unnecessarily due to the hospital being at its "lowest ebb" ever.
Deputy Labor leader Michelle O'Byrne and Bass Labor MHA Jennifer Houston quoted from the letter, signed by 22 registrars, in State Parliament on Tuesday morning.
"The General has been part of this community since 1883," the letter reads.
"Right now it is at its lowest ebb. We come to work each day knowing our workplace is not safe for patients."
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"A patient recently died in the waiting room in these circumstances.
"Morale amongst colleagues is low and continues to decline.
"The situation is untenable and needs decisive action to be taken."
The doctors also wrote that they were unable to sufficiently socially distance due to the strain on the hospital.
"We need to be prepared for future waves or a future pandemic," they said.
Ms O'Byrne asked Health Minister Sarah Courtney how many patients had died at the LGH due to chronic bed block and understaffing.
"Doctors at the LGH have now reached breaking point," she said.
Ms Courtney told the House of Assembly that the LGH was a "key part of our community" and had been so for "generations".
" I ... would like to sincerely thank all the staff at the LGH ... for what they have done during COVID," the minister said.
"I will continue to engage with clinicians at that hospital."
Ms Courtney noted that the government had employed an additional 440 full-time equivalent staff at the LGH and were investing in infrastructure there.
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