The Rockliff Government’s over-reliance on locums has seen Tasmanian taxpayers spend $68.2 million on fly-in, fly-out doctors.
Information obtained by Labor shows that during the 2022-2023 financial year, twice the amount was spent on locums for the Royal Hobart Hospital ($17.5 million) and Launceston General Hospital ($27.1 million) compared to 2021-2022.
More than $14.3 million was spent at the North West Regional Hospital and $9.2 million at the Mersey Community Hospital.
The $68.2 million spent on locums could have be used to support and retain existing staff, improve pay and conditions and employ more doctors across the health system.
Instead this government continues to spend millions of dollars on locums, doing little to provide continuity of care to Tasmanians.
If the Rockliff Government is serious about attracting doctors to Tasmania, it must be competitive with other states, who are facing their own shortages and are offering considerable attraction incentives.
A Labor Government will make it a priority to ensure Tasmanians can receive healthcare in their time of need and has already announced a robust regional health strategy so people can receive care closer to home.
Labor will ensure that all the policies we announced are backed with genuine workforce attraction and retention measures.
It is clear that after 10 years of this Liberal Government, there is no robust workforce development plan to attract specialists to Tasmania and as a result, Tasmanians will continue to wait to see specialists and get sicker.
Anita Dow MP
Shadow Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing