Weeks on from a roundtable aimed at finding immediate solutions to address increased emergency department demand, stakeholders say only time will tell if recruitment efforts will be enough.
Last month doctors warned the Launceston General and Royal Hobart hospitals would not cope in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak or severe flu season.
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On June 4 stakeholders from the Australian Medical Association, Health and Community Services Union and Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation met with Health Department clinical leaders to discuss issues around bed block, ambulance ramping and cancelled surgeries.
It came days after the government announced a new recruitment drive to bolster Tasmania's health workforce and reduce swollen elective surgery waiting lists.
A week later, Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff also announced more than 50 additional beds would be opened across the state, as part of its winter health planning - subject to additional staff being secured.
However, an AMA spokesman said right now, Tasmania's EDs remained under immense pressure.
"The government is optimistic about increasing bed capacity in our hospitals, but this needs to be done expediently, especially in our surge capacity," they said.
"Whether this active recruitment is sufficient to cater for expected demand over this coming winter period, only time will tell."
Mr Rockliff said recruitment had already commenced to enable new beds at the LGH to be permanently opened, including a new 28-bed medical ward on 3D.
He said the health roundtable had been constructive, and he remained committed to exploring new ideas.
"... I appreciated the frankness and willingness of those present to contribute ideas which largely aligned with strategies already being looked at or underway such as the state-wide access and patient flow program roll out, governance improvements, incentives to attract and retain staff and exploring alternate pathways to care," he said.
"We have committed to exploring any new ideas present and continuing to keep the lines of communication open."
However, ANMF state branch secretary Emily Shepherd said concerns remained over how staff would cope with more services, when they were unable to meet existing demand.
It's all well and good to say they will open more beds, but at the end of the day if they don't have the staff, they won't be able to open them.Emily Shepherd
"We do have concerns about additional beds being opened in the current context, when there's already significant challenges around staffing existing beds and services.
"Nurses are not only working across our acute hospitals, but in COVID testing clinics, vaccination clinics, hotel quarantine .. it is really challenging. We know there are areas that are working short-staffed, because they just can't get staff at short notice."
Mr Rockliff said new beds would only come online once appropriate staffing was put in place.
On Wednesday Mr Rockliff also reiterated his commitment to finding solutions to the state's ballooning elective surgery waitlist.
In an effort to increase transparency, he announced the department's Health Dashboard - released every quarter - will now be released monthly from July.
With data for March, April and May due to be released on Friday, he said there had been some encouraging improvements, including a 14 per cent decrease in the number of patients waiting beyond clinically recommended times.
As of December, more than 12,000 Tasmanians were awaiting elective surgery. This includes 1051 category 1 patients, 4494 category 2 and 6541 category 3.
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