Boosting health services in Tasmania

Media release
10 Apr 2019
Prime Minister, Minister for Health

The Morrison Government is investing almost $92 million to support better health care for all Tasmanians, improving waiting times for elective surgery, boosting mental health and maternity services and increasing cancer diagnosis scans.

The Tasmanian Health Plan also provides greater support for Tasmanians in rural and remote locations while increasing a wide range of vital services, from GPs to hospital care and specialist health services.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this investment would improve the health of all Tasmanians.

“Our strong economic management means we can provide record investment in Medicare, public hospitals and medicines, delivering more doctors, more nurses and more services to Tasmanians.”

“We can deliver this record investment in health without raising taxes for hard-working Tasmanians.

“We will invest $34.7 million to reduce surgical waiting times by providing an additional 6,000 surgeries and endoscopies and for primary care support for Tasmanians in rural and remote locations through TazReach.”

$10 million will support the Menzies Multiple Sclerosis Flagship Program to improve the quality of life for the more than 25,000  Australians living with MS by conducting research into cures and prevention of the disease.

$10 million will be invested in a new residential eating disorder clinic in Hobart, to provide in-patient specialist care for people experiencing eating disorders.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said around one million Australians live with an eating disorder, which is a complex condition with a high mortality rate.

“This treatment option will be an Australian first, providing diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders across the state, through training, education and advocacy,” Minister Hunt said.

“Eating disorder patients will also benefit from our historic decision to provide Medicare benefits for up to 40 psychological and 20 dietetic sessions per person per year.”

$10.5 million will be provided for a new walk-in mental health centre in Launceston, providing an environment where people can receive psychological, counselling or other mental health services without a prior appointment.

The centre will cater for people in crisis as well as those at risk, providing an alternative to the hospital emergency department.

$3 million will fund two new diagnostic mammography units, one in Hobart and one in Launceston.

These new machines will ensure that Tasmanian women do not have to wait to obtain x-rays to check their breasts for cancer. Earlier diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can save lives, especially for women over 40.

A further $400,000 will support upgrades to new birthing suites in Launceston General Hospital to better support women giving birth.

In Tasmania, funding for public hospitals will increase from $425 million a year (2018-19) to $525 million (2024-25) under a new agreement with the Tasmanian Government, which has primary responsibility for public hospitals.

This is in addition to the $730.4 million we provided to support Mersey Community Hospital.

Our Tasmanian Health Plan will result in new health initiatives, new infrastructure and new medical research, with real benefits for the people across Tasmania.