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Wilkie wants takeover of Tasmanian hospitals, Roxon says no

3 November 2011 - 2:28pm

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has suggested that funding for Tasmanian public hospitals should be the responsibility of the Gillard government.

According to Mr Wilkie, there is an opportunity to use the state as a test before the federal takeover of public hospitals continues.

"Tasmania has reached tipping point in public health before other states and territories for a range of reasons, including the state's low tax base, poor performance on a range of health and social indicators and years of serious financial mismanagement and gross incompetence by the state government," he told The Australian on Tuesday.

Premier Lara Giddings revealed earlier this week that public health spending would consume her state's entire budget within a decade - a result that may also impact on those with private health insurance.

However, yesterday (November 2) health minister Nicola Roxon ruled out the possibility of such a takeover.

"We are not planning a takeover of the Tasmanian health system. We have negotiated a true partnership with them and we expect them to stick to their part of the deal," Ms Roxon told parliament.

One option for Tasmanians would be to consider taking out private health insurance, allowing them the option of attending a private hospital, choosing a doctor and avoiding growing waiting lists.