The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, is urging Health Minister Michael Ferguson to come clean on how much the Royal Hobart Hospital is using expensive intrastate and fly-in nurses to cover shifts.

“I’ve heard from multiple sources that nurses have been brought in from Launceston and as far away as Western Australia to work at the Royal Hobart Hospital,” Mr Wilkie said. “I’ve repeatedly pressed the Health Minister for an explanation but he’s running a hundred miles from giving me an answer. Today I’m calling on Mr Ferguson to fess up and come clean on whether the RHH is using intrastate and fly-in nurses.”

Mr Wilkie said the Health Minister must also explain how often and what it’s costing to bring in nurses when locals would jump at the opportunity for work.

“We know the State Government spends millions on locum doctors, now we need to know how much it’s spending on locum nurses,” Mr Wilkie said. “Has the Minister who promised to fix the state’s health mess and crackdown on the use of locums given the green light to the RHH to fork out a fortune to ship in intra- and interstate nurses?

“It would be scandalous if taxpayers’ money was being spent on flights and hotel bills instead of on local nurses, operations and frontline healthcare.”

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