Thursday, 28 October 2010
Bass Electorate: Hospitals
Three local health and hospital networks are the only acceptable model for service delivery in Tasmania. I spoke on the National Health and Hospitals Network Bill earlier this week in the chamber, but I feel it is important to make it very clear just how important it is that Tasmania have three local networks. Tasmania has three very distinct regions, and it is imperative that each region manage the budget and service delivery of its own health and hospital network, one of which would fall in my electorate of Bass.
There has been much discussion in Tasmania about the best model. Well, it is simple. The best model is three localised networks. Anything else would be unacceptable to the people of Tasmania. We cannot allow a group of bureaucrats in Hobart to deliver their own power base by creating a single-network system in our state. This is not what the community wants, it is not what allied health professionals want, it is not what nurses want, it is not what doctors want and it is not what works best.
The Tasmanian state government needs to start listening carefully to the people of Tasmania and to the professionals working in the area. Tasmania requires the implementation of three health and hospital networks that are funded nationally and run locally, managed at the lowest possible level where they have full information and where the needs of the community are best known. No other model is acceptable.
I worked as a manager in a small country hospital until the Liberals in Tasmania sacked the boards. I then worked in a regional structure and, again, the Liberals sacked those boards. Then I worked under a state model, which disempowered local providers, divided service delivery and created silos of power which increased costs and created queues. The statewide plan isolated services, which led governments in their ignorance to split services between different ministers. It is possible for some primary and community services to close their books when they run out of budget; it is impossible for emergency departments to close their doors. So it makes sense to regionalise all services so that the best care is the priority.
I call on the Tasmanian state government to implement three health and hospital networks. The Tasmanian government should engage in consultation with all stakeholders so that the best outcome is achieved. Allied health professionals want regional management, nurses want regional management, doctors want regional management and the public will insist on regional management. Having worked in all three areas I can tell you that the only way to deliver effective services in health is through regional management and power at the local level and that the only way to save money in health is to deliver services locally.