The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the Productivity Commission Report on Health Services released today.
“The Productivity Commission has revealed that Tasmania has the longest waiting times for elective surgery in the country,” Mr Wilkie said.
“The number of Tasmanian patients who wait over 12 months for operations is close to 12 per cent. This is almost four times the national average of under three per cent.
“In many cases these operations, which are labelled elective surgery, include hip replacement and eye surgery which are vital to the patients’ quality of life.
“Every week people approach my office to complain how long they are waiting to even get the first appointment with a specialist, let alone an actual operation.
“This is not good enough and the Tasmanian Government must urgently look at ways to correct this injustice.
“I am constantly in touch with the Royal Hobart Hospital about its strategy for reducing wait times and am pleased to see the Hospital has put processes in place that will help reduce this problem at that particular hospital.
“But the impressive staff at the Royal can only do so much and ultimately the Government must confront the pressing need to rationalise the Tasmanian hospital network.
“One of the three hospitals in northern Tasmania should be closed. Having three in the north is unnecessary and dilutes the funding available for services state-wide, including at the Royal Hobart Hospital.”
January 29 2014
It’s deeply unsettling that Labor and the Liberals have conspired to pass another round of controversial pulp mill legislation in a special sitting of Parliament.
The decision to recall Parliament shows contempt for the environment, the community and proper process.
Allowing any future mill to operate in breach of sensible environmental and social considerations sends a clear message that neither the Government, nor the Opposition, are serious about conservation, the public interest or even a fair and equitable playing field for all businesses.
The legislation betrays all Tasmanians who expected their Government to act accountably and transparently, rather than kowtow to the interests of a few big corporations which demand special treatment and have the power it seems to order the recall of Parliament.
The so-called ‘doubts removal’ legislation removes any doubt that the Premier and Opposition Leader are more interested in representing big business than the Tasmanian people.
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