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National health reform delivers for Launceston

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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Federal Minister for Health and Ageing

THE HON MICHELLE O’BYRNE MP Tasmanian Minister for Health

MR GEOFF LYONS MP Federal Member for Bass


3 October 2011


Patients in Launceston and surrounds will benefit from better access to emergency treatment, sub-acute hospital beds and cancer services as a result of the Gillard Government’s historic national health reforms.

The Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon, Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne and Federal Member for Bass Geoff Lyons officially opened the upgraded $17.2 million WP Holman Cancer Clinic and patient accommodation at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) today and announced over $23.1 million in new funding that includes the provision of 20 new hospital beds for the region.

“The WP Holman Cancer Clinic, new beds and services which are co-funded by the Tasmanian Government, will deliver a better deal for patients,” Minister Roxon said.

“The expanded radiation oncology facilities at LGH mean that patients will be able to get the best possible care, closer to home.

“Health reform is providing communities with the resources they need and in addition to significant investments in cancer services for Northern Tasmania, patients will also benefit from 20 new rehabilitation beds at John L Grove.”

Minister O’Byrne said the Tasmanian Government is pleased to be working with the Commonwealth to improve access to health services for all Tasmanians.

“The installation of the third linear accelerator and the radiation oncology services expansion will help meet the hospital’s needs for the next six to 10 years,” Minister O’Byrne said.

“These initiatives have enabled the Holman Clinic to significantly increase the capacity of the number of patients it treats from 90 to 123 a day.

“And I can announce today that this increased capacity has all but eliminated the waiting list for radiation treatment at the LGH Holman Clinic.

“This is great news and a major benefit for cancer patients right across the northern half of the Tasmania.”

Member for Bass Geoff Lyons said that the world class cancer clinic includes a new radiotherapy bunker to house an additional linear accelerator, a training area, office and student accommodation delivering on Labor’s election commitment to provide increased radiation oncology services in Northern Tasmania.

“By training radiation oncology professionals locally and providing student accommodation, we will help retain staff within the region and ensure these services are sustainable into the future,” Mr Lyons said

Mr Lyons said that health reform means that patients will have reduced waiting times in the Emergency Department as a result of a new Clinical Decision Unit and much needed new medical equipment.”

“These investments showcase how health reform can provide better care for Northern Tasmania and in particular the people of Launceston,” Mr Lyons said.

The Gillard Government’s health reforms will deliver over $2.3 billion of key hospital investments to Tasmania since 2007 including for Launceston, such as:

 $40 million to the LGH under the Health and Hospitals fund for the development of a medical assessment unit, redevelopment of the day procedures unit and refurbishment of some wards plus $1 million for patient accommodation at LGH

 $15 million for the Launceston Integrated Care Centre  Almost $49 million for 649 high and 513 low residential aged care places  $9.12 million for the Launceston General Hospital for the expansion of

the medical oncology unit, a patient support centre, an education and research centre and four palliative care beds in district hospitals, part of $18.7 million Tasmanian Cancer Care Project under the Health and Hospitals Fund  $7 million to increase staffing for allied health and rehabilitation

services plus $4 million to enhance rehabilitation services  $2.4 million to establish a 24hr psychiatric emergency nurse liaison service and clinical expertise team at LGH plus a share of state wide

funding to emergency crisis assessment and treatment teams.