Any increase to Tasmania's GST payments should be directed to fixing the state's ailing health system, stakeholders say.
Tasmania is set to receive $3 billion in GST payments from the Commonwealth in the coming year - an increase of $207 million on what the state received in 2020-21.
In light of the federal budget, Australian Medical Association Tasmania branch president Helen McArdle said the money should go towards fixing a system at crisis.
FEDERAL BUDGET RELATED NEWS
"Health has been underfunded. Both in the acute sector, but also in the community sector," she said.
"We would like to see more of that GST funding going towards health, because we have such a problem at the moment.
"We are basically in crisis in a lot of areas and they do need more funding.
"So if the GST funding has increased significantly, it should be targeted more towards health."
The federal budget includes $322.6 million for infrastructure projects in Tasmania over the next eight years, including $295.1 million to fund new projects.
However, Dr McArdle said this did not include any additional commitments to health infrastructure, such as hospitals.
With growing concerns around elective surgery waitlists and overcrowded emergency departments, she said the only budget measure that could provide some reprieve was additional funding announced for aged care.
"If aged care residents can be managed in their facilities, and don't require transfer to hospital, then that will release some beds," she said.
"Not probably as many as we would like, but some.
"So we still have to keep working on other supports, to enable early discharge of patients and avoid patients requiring admission."
The comments were echoed by Australian Nursing and Midwifery Tasmania branch secretary Emily Shepherd, who said federal intervention was needed to address long-standing issues.
"The challenges we are seeing in Tasmania with vacancies and an ageing workforce, aren't necessarily unique to Tasmania - although we are probably ahead of everyone else," she said.
"They [governments] do need to be investing in a strategy to look at how we are encouraging our locally grown nurses and midwives to enter into the workforce, and to keep them there.
"I think there is a critical role of the federal government in playing a part in that strategy, both in Tasmania and across the Australia."
Ms Shepherd said one-off cash injections with no long-term commitment often made problems worse.
"That does really need to be the focus - in the professions and the workforce - rather than looking at the health service and putting a cash injection into a particular area, that might only last for 12 months ... we end up worse than when we started."
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