The first three months of a state government employment blitz aimed at reducing the extensive surgery waitlist in Tasmania has seen over 100 people employed at the Launceston General Hospital.
The blitz was launched at the start of June by freshly minted Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff in response to ballooning elective surgery waiting lists.
At the time more than 12,000 Tasmanians were awaiting elective surgery, including 1051 needing it urgently. About 50,000 Tasmanians remained waiting for outpatient care including.
Mr Rockliff said the employment blitz focused on not only reducing the waiting list, but to procure staff for COVID testing and vaccination clinics and to address vacancies.
He said between June 1 and September 6 there had been 772 people engaged by the Health Department which included 291 nurses, 68 medical practitioners and 58 allied health professionals.
Of those 772, Mr Rockliff said almost 20 per cent of those hired had been enlisted at the LGH.
"One-hundred-and-thirty-three new staff started at the LGH [between June 1 and September 6], including 73 nurses, 15 medical practitioners, 13 allied health professionals, 16 administrative staff and 16 support staff," he said.
Forty-three per cent of the employees since June 1 had been deployed in COVID-related roles.
Mr Rockliff said the government would continue with the blitz to reach a commitment to bring in 280 full-time staff.
The blitz came as part of the health recruitment taskforce that was set to meet monthly from June 16.
Mr Rockliff said the focus of the taskforce was to attract and retain staff across Tasmania.
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When announcing the taskforce Mr Rockliff said more than 180 of those employed would be required to help realise a $156 million plan to deliver 20,000 more elective surgeries and 2300 more endoscopies over the next four years.
As of the end of August there were 11,007 people waiting on elective surgery statewide, including 1033 needing it urgently - reductions on both accounts.
At the LGH, 4282 were waiting surgery, with 279 of them urgent.
There were a further 55,506 Tasmanians on the outpatient list, including 24,034 in line at the LGH.
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