Joint Media Release
The Hon Sussan Ley MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport
The Hon Michael Ferguson MP
Minister for Health
28 May 2015
North-Western Tasmanians will continue to receive high-quality care at the local Mersey Community Hospital following a $148.5 million in-principle agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley and Tasmania Health Minister Michael Ferguson have reached an in-principle agreement to ensure the Mersey Community Hospital continues to play an integral role in the health of the local community.
Ms Ley said the Abbott Government would provide $148.5 million to the Tasmanian Government for the continued management and operation of the hospital as part of a new two-year Heads of Agreement from 1 July.
“The Abbott Government is committed to ensuring that Tasmanians continue to have access to high-quality health services in the right place at the right time,” Ms Ley said.
“This $148.5 million agreement is great news for Tasmanians and will ensure the Mersey Hospital can continue to provide the local north-western Tasmanian community with access to health services.
“This two year agreement gives certainty to the Mersey Hospital as the Tasmanian Government works through the ‘One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes’ reform process.”
Ms Ley said the operation and management of the Mersey Community Hospital lies with Tasmanian Government.
“This agreement is an important step for the future of the Mersey Community Hospital. It gives certainty to the community while the State Government reviews health services around the state,” Federal Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley said.
“I am committed to ensuring the Mersey continues to be front and centre in the delivery of quality health care in this region,” Mr Whiteley said.
Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson congratulated the State Government and Health Minister Michael Ferguson in particular for the work that they are doing with health more broadly in Tasmania.
``The Mersey is an important part of that,” Mr Hutchinson said.
``This funding provides certainty for the State Government to continue on its path for reform of the health system in Tasmania.”
Tasmanian Minister for Health, the Hon Michael Ferguson MP, said the Mersey Community Hospital was a vital part of the State’s health system.
“Today’s announcement of an in-principle agreement on funding for the Mersey is great news for all Tasmanians,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The agreement delivers funding, directly for the Mersey Community Hospital, above the level of the last agreement.
“The increased investment from the Federal Government demonstrates the level of services which will be delivered from the Mersey under the One Health System reforms.
“This safeguards the future of the hospital and allows us to continue with our much-needed changes and improvements to add a range of new services to the Mersey and deliver better health outcomes across the state.
“We will continue with plans to build better surgical services around the state through utilising the Mersey to deliver low complexity, short stay elective surgery for patients all around the state who are currently having to wait far too long.
“We will also ensure that important new services are available to the local community by providing a range of new Subacute Services including rehabilitation services, geriatric care and mental health services.”
“This agreement recognises that while the role of the Mersey Hospital might change, the importance of the services it provides to the local and wider Tasmanian community does not.”
Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Minister Ferguson’s Media Contact: Jim Dunham 0437 179 089