Council welcomes White Paper release

Burnie City Council welcomes the release of the State Government’s White Paper on health reform.

Burnie Mayor Anita Dow said, “The release of the White Paper has been highly anticipated, not only by Council but also our community.”

“The health reforms have far-reaching implications for many people and services within the community. It is pleasing that we are now able to get an understanding of the impacts these reforms will have in the region and across the state and begin to understand how the reforms will be implemented and funded.”

Council welcomes the news that maternity services will be based at the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH).

“We have stated from the out-set that, based on the evidence presented in the Green and draft White Papers, the logical conclusion was for maternity services to be consolidated at the NWRH. It is also reassuring to hear that while birthing services will be moved to the NWRH, mothers and their babies will still be able to access ante and post-natal care from the Mersey Community Hospital (MCH). Having greater access to quality ante and post-natal care across the region was one of the key items that Council mentioned in our response to the exposure draft of the White Paper.”

Council also welcomes the Government’s investment in patient transport.

“One of the major concerns raised since the initial announcement regarding the health reforms was accessible and affordable patient transport. People are more accepting of the need to travel to access treatment if they have the means in which to do so. The introduction of a low-cost bus service between hospitals and the $8.2 million flagged for accommodation is welcome news, as is the news of the construction of helipads at both North West hospitals.”

“We also welcome the additional services to the region, including palliative care, oral health, neurology, and rehabilitation and the 24 hour emergency department at MCH.”

“While there are still many details yet to be confirmed, it would appear that the North West region has a lot to gain from these reforms. The region is well placed to become a centre of excellence in health care, especially in areas of elective surgery. The integrated approach to cancer services with the Launceston General Hospital and the new North West Regional Cancer Centre will also significantly benefit the region and our people.”

“Council understands that reforms such as these will take time to roll-out, so we are very interested to learn more about the practicalities, funding and the timeframes of the implementation process.”

For further information please contact

Janine Phillips
Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
03 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728