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Labor call on government for health service transparency | The Examiner


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Premier Peter Gutwein says despite staff being impacted by COVID-19, the Tasmanian Health Service was still in a good position to provide care across the state. The Premier’s statement followed claims by Labor Health spokesperson Anita Dow that Tasmania’s ‘overburdened’ health system was set to experience further reductions in services. READ MORE: People released from isolation doubles as cases fall Ms Dow said the government needed to be transparent citing the escalation of COVID cases in the state. She said the government had not planned to ensure the health system was able to cope when they opened the borders on December 15. “With staff shortages across the health and hospital system already affecting child health and parenting services, elective surgery, outpatient appointments and COVID testing and vaccine capacity, Mr Rockliff owed Tasmanians an explanation about what services would be impacted next,” she said. READ MORE: Dog attack behind Tasmania penguin deaths Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said to support the children’s vaccination program, some nurses had been temporarily reassigned to assist with the rollout. He said hospitals were continuing to perform elective surgery with improvements on the previous year. “Year to date we have currently performed 1,540 more procedures than the same period in 2020-21,” he said. READ MORE: Elderly woman dragged from burning care facility Speaking on Thursday, Mr Gutwein said in the same way the health system supported Tasmanians with a bad dose of the flu, it would support them with COVID, and pointed to low staff as the issue faced by the state. “Our biggest challenge at the moment is not serious illness, our biggest challenge is the fact that we have so many people absent from work as a result of the isolation measures that we have in place,” he said. READ MORE: The global fitness craze setting up shop in Launceston’s CBD Tasmanian Vaccination Emergency Operations Centre commander Dale Webster said across the Department of Health 293 staff had tested positive to COVID, with 339 workers reported as close contacts. He said many had returned to work under strict health protocols. Andrew Chounding is The Examiner’s Health Reporter, if you have a health-related story please email Andrew.chounding@examiner.com.au Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: Follow us on Google News: The Examiner

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