Joint Media Release
The Hon Sussan Ley MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport
The Hon Michael Ferguson MP
Minister for Health
31 August 2015
The formal signing of the $148.5 million agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments means North-Western Tasmanians will continue to receive high-quality care at the local Mersey Community Hospital.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley and Tasmania Health Minister Michael Ferguson, who came to in-principle terms in May, concluded the final agreement that ensured 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.
“This $148.5 million Abbott Government commitment ensured that Tasmanians would continue to have access to high-quality health services in the right place, at the right time,” Ms Ley said.
“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 and is great news for the local north-western Tasmanian community.”
Ms Ley said the operation and management of the Mersey Community Hospital lies with Tasmanian Government.
“The hospital is an integral part of the state-wide health service and this agreement reflects that importance,” Federal Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley said.
“The new agreement will provide certainty to the hospital and North-West residents as the state government undertakes vital reform throughout the state.
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 and specifically in the communities of Latrobe and Kentish.
`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.”
The agreement acknowledges the Tasmanian Government’s One State, One Health System Better Outcomes reform agenda, and states that funding from this agreement will be used in line with the recommendations of the White Paper.
Tasmanian Minister for Health, the Hon Michael Ferguson MP, said the Mersey Community Hospital was a vital part of the One Health System reforms.
“The ratification of this agreement is a clear demonstration of both Government’s commitment to the Mersey, which under the One Health System reforms will become an asset for the whole state, in addition to providing local hospital services for the Mersey region,” Mr Ferguson said.
“As we announced in May, 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 includes a 24/7 Emergency Department, a new range of specialist outpatient services, and Tasmania’s only dedicated Elective Surgery Centre.
Mr Ferguson said today’s announcement makes a mockery of the Tasmanian Labor Party’s scare campaign around the agreement.
“I look forward to Opposition leader Bryan Green and his health spokesperson Rebecca White welcoming this agreement – which delivers $30 million more than Ms White thought was necessary – and apologising for their debunked claims recently that the funding agreement was in doubt,” Mr Ferguson said.
Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Minister Ferguson’s Media Contact: Jim Dunham 0437 179 089