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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will call on the Federal Government to refer Tasmania’s busted public health system to the Productivity Commission for real solutions.

Mr Wilkie makes the demand for federal intervention into Tasmania’s failing health system in the motion he has introduced into Federal Parliament and which will be debated this morning. A copy of the motion can be found here.

“Enough is enough,” Mr Wilkie said. “Tasmania’s hospitals are the worst performing in the country despite the heroic efforts of staff. The Tasmanian health system receives more federal funding than the national average, but it’s fundamentally broken and this is resulting in prolonged illnesses and preventable deaths. Successive state governments have promised to fix the health system, but all have failed. At the best of times we need a first-class health system. During a global pandemic this is obviously even more pressing.”

Mr Wilkie said it was time the Federal Government referred the Tasmanian health system to the Productivity Commission.

“The Commission is best placed to do an effective deep analysis of Tasmania’s health system and develop a blue print to fix its systemic structural and financial problems,” Mr Wilkie said. “There’s precedence for federal intervention, for instance the $325m health rescue package I negotiated in 2012 and the take-over and handback of the Mersey Hospital.”

Mr Wilkie said Tasmania had too many public hospitals for its population and this strained the health budget.

“One of the north west hospitals needs to be closed, which would leave enough to run the other three properly,” he said. “No wonder the Royal Hobart Hospital struggles to serve half the population in the south, when the budget has to stretch to three hospitals in the north and north west.”