Doctors are facing $200,000 pay cuts to come and work in Tasmania, according to the Australian Medical Association, who says there's no point opening more hospital beds if there's no staff to manage them.
Thursday's state budget included $10.7 billion for health spending over four years, including $2.59 billion for 2021-22.
However, peak bodies continue to raise concerns over Tasmania's ability to attract and retain health professionals - particularly specialists.
Australian Medical Association Tasmania spokeswoman Dr Annette Barratt said the budget had some obvious omissions.
"We don't see any money in the budget for a single hospital on the North-West Coast," she said. "We don't see any mention at all of the long-term clinical services plan. We don't see investment in general practice."
"More importantly, we don't see any additional money for keeping the doctors, the nurses and the allied health - who are going to fill these additional beds."
Dr Barratt said doctors were facing pay cuts of between $100,000 and $200,000 to take up positions in Tasmania.
"There is no point opening beds if you don't have staff who are going to stay, and you don't have staff who are going to stay long-term. Why, if you're a doctor, you are going to come to Tasmania to take a pay cut?
"Why would you come here, and why would you stay?"
In June, the government announced plans to open an additional 50 hospital beds across the state to help meet seasonal demand and to support its elective surgery blitz, with an additional 30,000 surgeries and endoscopies planned over the next four years.
Dr Barratt said the commitment to increase the number of beds in Tasmania's hospitals was critical to help address bed block within emergency departments, and ensure more surgeries were performed.
However, she warned that any increased investment in elective surgery would also impact ED admissions that are already struggling to meet demand.
"This is because a portion of patients will need to be re-admitted for further treatment post-surgery," she said.
"At this point, all hospital admissions come through the ED. Hence the need for more beds to be opened throughout the hospital so patients can be admitted and not left to wait far too long in a bed blocked ED is critical. But those beds can only be opened if we have the doctors, nurses, and allied health staff to staff them."
The latest Health Dashboard data, released Friday, shows there were 11,007 Tasmanians waiting for elective surgery as of July 21 - down from 12,265 in January. Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said while there had been some encouraging improvements, the state was continuing to experience increased demand.
"Tasmanian emergency departments have seen patients continuing to present in above average numbers leading to impacts on the length of stay, with more than half of patients spending more than four hours in the ED," he said.
"Our EDs are also impacted by how the whole hospital system is functioning, which is why it is important we have the right level of community care available and we get people home from hospital as soon as it is safe to do so."
He said the government's record elective surgery program would ensure patients get the surgery they need, within the clinically recommended timeframe.
However, the government's $196.4 million "elective surgery blitz" has been consistently criticised by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine, who warned the health system couldn't cope with existing workloads - let alone additional ones.
Responding to Thursday's state budget, including plans to recruit and retain 280 additional FTE health staff, Dr Barratt said it wouldn't be possible unless the government got serious about ensuring staff receive pay parity with other states.
"We are competing for the same limited resources of doctors across Australia," she said.
"Few doctors will move to Tasmania when at the absolute best, they will receive a $100,000 pay cut and, at worst, have their salary halved. A system that depends on locums is not the answer."
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