The state's peak nursing union has welcomed a commitment of additional permanent staff for the Launceston General Hospital emergency department, but say it won't fix the root cause of problems.
The Tasmanian Health Service has committed an additional 21.3 full time equivalent staff for the hospital's ED, made up of grade 3 and grade 4 nurses.
It comes after the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmania branch took the claim to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.
ANMF Tasmania branch secretary Emily Shepherd said the decision had come after years of campaigning, with members "fiercely" advocating for changes to address unsustainable and unsafe workloads.
However, she said while the commitment would allow for a greater numbers of nurses to respond to patients in need, broader issues leading to access block in the ED were yet to be resolved.
"The extra nursing staff will help our members to cope with increasing presentations, long lengths of stay for admitted patients, and an overflowing waiting room, and ambulance ramping due to access block," she said.
"Wait times at the Launceston General Hospital emergency department are some of the worst in the country.
"While the additional FTE will help make the department safer for staff and patients alike, it will not fix the root cause of the problem facing members across the state."
The LGH has been plagued with access block concerns for years, with a 2019 snapshot survey from the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine finding it to be the worst performing hospital in the country.
According to the latest data, just under half of all patients who present to the LGH ED depart within four hours - the timeframe considered a standard benchmark for the operations within an ED.
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