Agreement reached to transfer Mersey Community Hospital
The Australian Government signed on 24 September binding Heads of Agreement for the transfer of the Mersey Hospital by 1 November 2007.
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PDF printable version of Agreement reached to transfer Mersey Community Hospital (PDF 23 KB)
24 September 2007
The Commonwealth Government has today signed binding Heads of Agreement for the transfer of the Mersey Hospital by 1 November 2007.
This means that the Commonwealth can now move quickly to establish a community entity to run the new Mersey Community Hospital. The Commonwealth will put in place interim arrangements to run the hospital from date of transfer until the community entity has been established. I now expect that to be early next year.
The agreement comes after lengthy and often difficult discussions with the Tasmanian Government. Once a draft agreement had been finalised, the Tasmanian Minister rushed to sign. For its part, the Commonwealth wanted to be sure that Tasmania’s acceptance was not couched in terms that would prevent restoring services at the Mersey, including a Level 1 Intensive Care Unit. I am now satisfied that the new hospital is not precluded from delivering the same range of services as was delivered for many years until the Tasmanian Government’s recent downgrade.
The Mersey Community Hospital will become a community-controlled and Commonwealth-funded public hospital providing a comprehensive range of health services.
The signing of the Heads of Agreement should provide certainty for staff and the wider Mersey community about the new arrangements. The Commonwealth is committed to ensuring that staff have their conditions and entitlements protected.
It is expected that the Commonwealth will now have full access to the hospital, including staff and relevant data and resources. This is essential to meet the agreed goal of a full handover by 1 November.
The first meeting of the full Mersey Hospital Interim Advisory Committee, chaired by the Hon Neil Batt AO, will take place tomorrow.
The Commonwealth’s commitment frees money to fund the rest of the health system in Northern Tasmania. This should enable the Tasmanian Government to meet unaddressed priorities elsewhere in the State places including Launceston, Burnie, Beaconsfield, Ouse and Rosebery.
For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220.
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