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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2258

Mr HART (Bass) (13:48): Tasmanians go to the polls this Saturday. The Tasmanian public health system is in crisis. Full responsibility for the Tasmanian health crisis rests with the incompetent Liberal government led by Will Hodgman and also with the Prime Minister's cuts to health. It's impossible to consider the pressures facing the Tasmanian hospital system without considering the social determinants of health. All of the social determinants of health point towards poorer health outcomes in Tasmania, particularly in the electorate of Braddon and my electorate of Bass. This means that there needs to be more investment in public health and preventive health, more investment in education and more attention to transforming the Tasmanian economy. Instead, Tasmanians face increased waiting lists for elective surgery, rising out-of-pocket costs for seeing a GP, and state and federal governments who think that the health budgets can be constrained by decree.

In my electorate 2,006 people are waiting for elective surgery. Many more are waiting for appointments just to see specialists before they go on the list. The average GP out-of-pocket cost paid by people in Bass is $34.80. Many people will skip necessary treatment and will attend our overburdened emergency departments. Labor has committed at the state and federal levels to reducing the waiting lists by funding over 1,000 extra surgeries at the Launceston General Hospital alone. Labor built Medicare. Labor understands our public health system and knows how to fix it.