More hospital beds and nurses in Tasmanian budget, but little for preventive health

Doug Hendrie

15/06/2018 11:57:17 AM

Royal Hobart and Launceston General hospitals will benefit from the expansion.

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Kym Goodes from the Tasmanian Council of Social Service referred to the lack of preventive care in the state’s budget as a ‘missed opportunity’.

The Tasmanian state budget allocates almost $300 million to boost acute care, with 250 new beds to be funded in the refurbished Royal Hobart Hospital.
That will mean 946 new full-time equivalent jobs when the beds are rolled out from 2020–21. And 180 more nurses will be employed across the state over six years.
The Launceston General Hospital will get an $87 million redevelopment over six years, allowing an expansion of the main building, while the Mersey Community Hospital will get a $35 million capital upgrade. 
But there was little in the budget for preventive health, according to Kym Goodes from the Tasmanian Council of Social Service. She told the ABC the budget represents a missed opportunity.
‘[T]his budget sees a huge amount of money go into hospitals, for example, but the lowest ever investment we've seen in preventative health,’ she said.
A $240,000 feasibility study on Urgent Care Centres in Launceston and Hobart will examine how GPs, supported by hospital specialists, could provide care in the community and reduce the load on emergency departments.
Eight new acute medical beds will be opened at the North West Regional Hospital, with an additional eight beds for the Launceston General Hospital.
The Community Rapid Response Service providing short-term intermediate care in the community or home will shift from a pilot in the state’s north to a permanent part of the health system, with $7 million in funding. Two new pilots of the same program will be rolled out around Hobart and the state’s north-west.
In the state’s south, 25 new mental health beds will be built for step-down care after a hospitalisation and step-up care to avoid hospitalisation.

preventive-health state-budget Tasmania


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