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Tasmanian public health changes criticised

28 November 2011 - 4:22pm

A restructuring of Tasmania's health network will give too much power to the state's health minister, according to a leading medical body.

Three Tasmanian Health Organisations (THOs) - with new chief executives - will replace the existing Area Health Services in the south, north and north-west from July next year, after legislation was passed last week (November 24).

President of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association Dr John Davis claims that the move - part of the federal government's national health reform - is a terrible outcome for a health system already in crisis.

"The upper house have allowed the government to get away with putting in place a system to oversee health in this state that does not demand the involvement of clinicians - now I'm not just talking about doctors, but I'm talking about clinicians across the breadth of the health sector and that quite frankly is stupid," he said.

Dr Davis claims that without one cohesive system, the state's failing health services and increasing costs could not be fixed.

According to state health minister Michelle O'Byrne, the new system will deliver a more local focus in terms of ownership, control and decision-making.