Tasmania's Health System


Enough is enough, despite heroic efforts by our doctors, nurses and other health professionals The Tasmanian Health System is in permanent crisis. It has been mismanaged by successive Labor and Liberal administrations for well over a decade and beyond, no more, the Jacqui Lambie Network has a plan to fix it.

The Problems

Elective surgery waiting lists are still out of control with Tasmanians often waiting four times longer than our counterparts across the Bass Strait.

Just to reach the national average, Tasmania needs an immediate increase of 200 properly funded and clinically staffed public hospital beds.

Tasmanians tend to be older, poorer, sicker and less well-educated than mainlanders, even at birth Tasmanians begin life with a lower life expectancy. That’s not good enough!

Why? Our health system is uncoordinated, under-staffed, under-resourced and under-funded. It has been mismanaged by Labor and Liberal administrations for well over a decade and beyond.

It is estimated that each funded and resourced public hospital bed costs about $1 million to run – so to provide the same level of health care as the mainland, the Tasmanian health system needs an extra annual investment of $200 million, at a minimum.

The Immediate Solution

The JLN has previously suggested the Government employ the services of Aspen Medical, a firm who has a distinguished track record of dramatically and quickly reducing general admission and public operation waiting lists.

Aspen requires only $15,000 to begin a health scoping study, which is the first step to fixing our dangerously long public surgery waiting lists. Aspen's record speaks for itself when it comes to fixing health crises caused by dysfunctional public health management. 

Nationally and internationally this Australian company has saved peoples' lives by delivering surgery and medical treatment on time and on budget. In the medium term we need a special intervention by Aspen or a comparable private company to fix our Tasmanian public health system.

No more parliamentary inquiries, no more forums, no more bureaucrats, it is time to bring in fresh eyed experts, we can’t afford to wait, we are dealing with people’s lives. 

Longer Term Solutions

In the long term, it is essential we conduct a feasibility and benefit study into a new public and private health centre and hospital located on a greenfield site in a central location on the North-West Coast.

All medical services would be located here, enabling easy access to all and providing future generations with enhanced tertiary level medical care and treatment. It would save duplication of services along the Coast, provide vital scale to attract professionals and alleviate pressure on both the Launceston General Hospital and the Royal Hobart Hospital. It's become obvious both hospitals are in the wrong place and not built for the purposes they now find themselves being used for.

The JLN's long-term plan to fix Tasmania's public health crisis begins with a very modest investment of $30,000 for a cost-benefit and feasibility study that examines the role of establishing one new central North-West regional health hub.


June 2017 a total of 5402 patients were recorded on waiting lists for their elective surgery. Breakdown reads - Category 1: 522 Category 2: 1978 Category 3: 2902

Reference: Department of Health (Health Stats) published Sept 2017 

Bed block – people unable to be admitted into wards from the emergency department – RHH listed with at least 70 to 80 avoidable deaths a year, with no knowledge of numbers for complications or injuries sustained due to bed block. (Admissions of patients in the emergency department has doubled since January 2013 (9) to January 2017 (20)

Reference: Martyn Goddard Independent health policy analyst

200 fewer beds than what we need to provide national-standard care. Approx. 50 extra per year

Reference: Martyn Goddard Independent health policy analyst

Not enough permanent nurses and midwives to cope with the Tasmanian health crisis – June 2017 between all 4 hospitals, nurses and midwives worked 8255 hours of overtime, costing $473,018.

Reference: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/nursing-staff-notch-nearly-1m-in-overtime/news-story/199266f34976029815384cb26bf75e73?login=1

Ambulance Ramping – a real concern in Tasmania, having the Ambulance ramped and not out on the road accessible to the next patient. Calling for more than 100 extra Paramedic staff across the state. Approx. 83,764 Ambulance responses is 2016-17

Reference: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-19/tas-ambulance-response-times-worst-in-country-say-union/8539130