Premier Jeremy Rockliff must outline what measures he will put in place in the short term to replace the 31 mental health beds that will be lost through the closure of St Helen’s Private Hospital.
With the closure of the hospital scheduled for next month, the Premier must provide Tasmanians with more information on where people needing support and treatment will be referred to.
We know that inpatient mental health support is difficult to come across in Tasmania and there are long wait lists to access beds.
The beds and specialist treatments available at St Helen’s Private Hospital have been life changing for many patients and have assisted in re-engaging them with work, education and their community.
The staff at St Helen’s have specialist knowledge and skills that should not and cannot be lost. The Premier must outline his transition plan to ensure these workers are supported and continue to work in the Tasmanian health system.
The loss of these critical beds is going to put added pressure on the health system, which is at crisis point, and other mental health providers around Tasmania who are already operating at capacity.
Instead of prioritising the health and the wellbeing of Tasmanians, the minority Liberal Government continues to demonstrate its priority is building another stadium in Hobart.
If Premier Rockliff hasn’t addressed the mental health crisis in 10 years, he never will.
Anita Dow MP
Shadow Minister for Health