The state's nurses union claims the Health Department has turned its back on an agreed business case to increase staffing levels at the Launceston General Hospital emergency department.
However, the claims have been disputed by the department, who says the case for further staff increases remains under consideration.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Tasmania branch says a mutual solution was agreed upon with the Tasmania Health Service in December.
Branch secretary Emily Shepherd said this included local THS management agreeing to prepare a business case with the aim of alleviating safety issues for staff and risks to patient care by requesting similar staffing levels to those in the Royal Hobart Hospital ED.
However, Ms Shepherd said the business case had been denied by the Health Department, with the ANMF now planning to lodge a dispute with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.
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The ANMF has also submitted a Right to Information application to obtain a copy of the business case and the approval chain, including the rationale for its dismissal.
"It is alarming that a mutually agreed solution between local THS management and the ANMF to address profound safety issues for staff and patients alike, has not been supported by the Department of Health," Ms Shepherd said.
"Even more alarmingly, no other strategies have been suggested to ameliorate concerns."
In September last year the ANMF threatened action with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, unless a special panel was appointed to resolve workload issues at the LGH.
Last year the hospital's ED was benchmarked according to the existing industrial workload model, resulting in an increase in nursing staff.
However, Ms Shepherd said the workload model did not take the hospital's challenges of bed block into account.
"The THS agree that the current workload model is not meeting the needs of emergency department's across the state and a working group has been convened to review the model and make recommendations for improvement," she said.
"However, despite agreeing that the current model doesn't meet these needs, the LGH emergency department has received no additional resources to support the increased workload caused by access block.
"While the Workload Tool Working Group has meetings scheduled though until December 2021, our members working in the LGH Emergency Department cannot wait this long for action, they are at breaking point now."
In a statement, a Health Department spokesman said no business case had been rejected.
"A business case for an additional eight FTE staff at the Launceston General Hospital emergency department has been approved, and a subsequent business case for a further staff increase remains under consideration," they said.
"The ANMF has been part of this process."
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said the government was committed to ensuring the state's health services had more of the resources they need.
"The department will continue to engage constructively with staff and key stakeholders, including the ANMF, on developing solutions to long-standing patient flow and demand challenges."
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