Media Releases

Liberals Fail To Match Health Care Funding For North West Tasmania

July 09, 2018

Less than three weeks out from the Braddon by-election the Liberals have failed to match Labor’s funding commitments to slash Tasmania’s elective surgery waiting lists and restore specialist services to the state’s North West and West Coasts.

It’s been six months since Labor announced plans to invest $30 million to help Tasmanians get the essential surgery they need much faster – and the Liberals have shown no sign of matching this important promise.

About 7,000 Tasmanians are waiting for critical surgery - such as knee and hip replacements, cataract surgeries, tonsillectomies and hysterectomies - under the Liberals’ unacceptable backlog. Our commitment will almost halve that number. 

The Liberals have also failed to match Labor’s plan to give Tasmanians better access to specialists by investing $4.5 million to TazReach – a program that bringsspecialists to the community rather than making people travel to the cities or interstate.

“With less than three weeks to go until polling day it’s painfully clear the Liberals don’t care at all about the health of Tasmanians,” Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King said.

“They’ve had plenty of time to match Labor’s important commitments but they’ve done absolutely nothing.

“They’re obsessed with delivering tax cuts for the big banks and millionaires – but they don’t give a stuff about the people of this region.”

Labor candidate for Braddon, Justine Keay, said it was time for Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley to stand up for our community against Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts. 

Malcolm Turnbull has ripped millions out of Tasmania’s hospitals, forced up the cost of seeing doctors and specialists with his Medicare freeze, and slashed the Tazreach program – and Brett Whiteley has backed him every step of the way,” Ms Keay said.

“This is a guy who described Medicare as ‘unsustainable’ and said a $20 GP co-payment was a ‘reasonable solution’. That’s not the sort of person who will make any effort to look after the health of ordinary Tasmanians.

“Steven has courageously come forward to demonstrate how Tasmania’s health system is in crisis. Just last week the specialist appointment he has been waiting for since November 2017 was cancelled and pushed out to April 2019 – a total wait time of eighteen months.

“I’m fighting to give the people of Braddon a fair go and better health care. Brett Whiteley just wants to help Turnbull deliver his $17 billion taxpayer funded handout to the big banks.”