State-wide clinical services plan for health

30 Jul 2021



AMA Tasmania welcomes today's commitment made by the State Government to implement a state-wide clinical services plan for health, a plan the AMA has lobbied for some time.

President Dr Helen McArdle noted, “the last comprehensive state-wide Clinical Services Plan was released in 2007.

"It is time for a new clinical services plan to set the direction for health services over the next five to ten years to ensure patients are seen and provided with the right care, in the right place, at the right time, as safely and as close to home as possible.

"A clinical services plan is informed by population and health data, enabling health services to be planned for the next five to ten years to meet the growing and ageing population's health needs.

"A clinical services plan is a critical document that will inform the Government's Workforce and Infrastructure Plans. For instance, if more inpatient beds are required, more workforce and physical space will be necessary.

"It is important that all health professionals are consulted and are a part of the process in determining the next state-wide clinical services plan."

Dr McArdle added, “AMA Tasmania also calls on the government to invest $400m into Health ICT in the upcoming budget alongside this work.

"ICT will enable modern, efficient and emerging health services to be delivered across the state and link the primary and acute care systems, thereby improving communication around patient care.

"We recognise the Tasmanian Government has made substantial investments in the health system, especially in elective surgery, but reducing the waiting list is painfully slow.

"We need to see more inpatient beds opened in general and mental health to assist patient flow through the hospital and stop the cancellations of elective surgery.

"We know our emergency departments across the state operate in a state of crisis; the solutions require reform across the entire health system."

Dr McArdle continued, “AMA Tasmania supports a single funder model for all health services to stop patients falling between the primary and acute care systems.

"Part of the crisis we see in our hospitals is because the Commonwealth is failing in its responsibilities.

"We need the Commonwealth Government to pull their weight in Aged Care and in the NDIS to help get patients in these sectors out of acute care beds who should not be there.

"We need the Commonwealth Government to arrest the bleeding of General Practitioners out of the profession and encourage doctors in training to become GPs by ensuring they are adequately renumerated.

"GPs earn half of their hospital-based colleagues’ salaries and are left stressed by the six-minute medicine they are forced to provide their patients. The result is that training places for General Practitioners remain empty, while competition for specialist training places is getting worse.

"We need both the funding and the governance structures to make this happen, which is not what we've got today. Right now, we have a less than perfect system on the brink – and it needs to change." >>>ENDS.

Published: 30 Jul 2021