Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
Mr President, as a follow-up to my question to the Leader on 21 November regarding the Government's plans to attract and retain talented and able health professionals to Tasmania in the years ahead, would the Leader please advise -
(1) In 2018, the then Health minister established and fast-tracked the Tasmanian Health Recruitment, Retention and Workforce Planning Unit to assist with the delivery of more than 1300 new Health staff over the next six years. Can the Leader please advise what quantifiable deliverables have been achieved by this unit to date?
(2) What strategies are in place to achieve the delivery of 1300 health professionals by 2024?
(3) Are the unit, the Government, the department and other associated stakeholders on track to deliver these 1300 health staff by 2024?
Mr President, I thank the member for Murchison for her question.
(1) to (3)
The fast-tracking of the dedicated Health Recruitment, Retention and Workforce Planning Unit was an election commitment. The unit was established to assist with the delivery of more than 1300 FTEs of new Health staff across the next six years. For many years Tasmania experienced challenges in attracting and retaining certain health staff leading, for example, to our reliance on locums to ensure delivery of some services. The unit has therefore been crucial in supporting the Government's significant recent recruitment efforts combined with support from strength and local hospital leadership.
In the last financial year, the Tasmanian Health Service recruited 350 additional FTEs, including 160 FTE nurses, 55 FTE doctors and 42 FTE allied health staff. The Government is on track to recruit 1300 additional FTEs by 2024 with the support of the important unit.