The Tasmanian Government spent almost $34 million on locum medical professionals across the state's four major hospitals in 2019-20.
Right to Information documents released Friday, requested by the Labor party, shows a breakdown of Health Department locum expenditure in the past financial year totalled $33.7 million.
Launceston General Hospital recorded the highest locum expenses at $13.4 million, followed by the North West Regional Hospital at $8.6 million, Mersey Community Hospital at $6.6 million and Royal Hobart Hospital at $5 million.
Almost $2.4 million was spent on locums in July alone, with the highest cost also at the LGH with $940,000.
The RTI also revealed more than $161,000 was spent covering cost associated with the time 12 locums spent in COVID-19 until September 30.
All were engaged to work in the state's South.
Labor Health spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said the figures revealed the government was spending millions on locums, despite promises to recruit more permanent staff.
"The reliance on locums at the LGH is particularly shocking," she said.
"Labor's Jobs Plan, released this week, includes replacing long term contracts and locums with permanent staff, including full time positions where appropriate.
"Permanent jobs in our health sector result in genuine continuity of care - and that leads to better health outcomes for Tasmanian patients."
Ms Lovell said the government's dependency on locums and agency staff needed to come to an end.
"Peter Gutwein's government just keeps doing the same thing, over and over again expecting a different result," she said.
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said locum expenditure was the lowest in the March to June quarter, noting the impact of COVID-19 on the health system.
"As a government we are trying to reduce our reliance on locums, and we are working to improve this across all of our hospitals," she said.
"Between coming to government in March 2014 and June this year, there are now more than 1500 FTE additional staff in our health system.
"This includes an increase of 59.5 FTE medical practitioners in 2019-20, and we've recently announced new permanent positions in the NW to support the Mersey ED."
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