Guy gives clinic the thumbs up

BARELY a month since taking on the contentious health portfolio, Health Minister Guy Barnett has had firsthand experience of frontline treatment.

At the weekend the exercise fanatic had a run in on the squash court which resulted in a quick trip to the Launceston Urgent Care Clinic – a newly opened facility designed to take pressure of the Emergency Departments of the states hospitals.

The local Lyons MP was upbeat on social media following the incident.

“As you can see, it’s easy to come off second best when you have a run-in with a squash court!’’ he said.

“Eleven stitches and a broken thumb.

“Nevertheless I was blown away by the care I received at the new Launceston Urgent Care Clinic.’’

Back on the job on Monday he was making the final changes to a major announcement to review the way Emergency Departments across Tasmania operate.

On Tuesday morning he announced an independent review into the operations of the Emergency Departments at all four Tasmanian hospitals.

“Our team members right across our health system do an incredible job day in and day out, and I back them 100 per cent,’’ Mr Barnett said.

“That’s why I am leaving no stone unturned to make sure we are doing absolutely everything we possibly can to support them.

“We know Emergency Departments are a real pinch point in our health care system.

“We have an ever-growing number of presentations, many of which are not emergencies and could be treated elsewhere.

“We need to make sure resourcing, work practices, communication, and hospital flow strategies are the best they possibly can be.”

The review process will begin with the Launceston General Hospital – the subject of a recent parliamentary motion – and will be extended to the Royal Hobart Hospital, the North West Regional Hospital and the Mersey Community Hospital.

“This is about ensuring Tasmanians can access the care they need, in the right place, at the right time,” Mr Barnett said.

“Tasmanians can be assured this Government is continuing to do what matters and build a healthcare system that delivers the right healthcare for them, their children and their grandchildren.”

Safety and quality expert Prof Debora Picone AO will lead the review alongside a nursing expert and an expert nominated by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.