Dangerously long waits for healthcare, emergency department (ED) overcrowding, and poor patient outcomes can be improved, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) specialist clinicians say, but politicians must put aside electioneering soundbites, and instead invest in whole-of-system solutions that can genuinely improve patient care.
ACEM Tasmania Chair Dr Juan Carlos Ascencio-Lane said, “I have spoken to colleagues across the health system, and we shared our shock that many of the front-page health promises announced this week were made without expert consultation. How can politicians think they know better than the people who work in this system every day?"

"We’ve been telling government what is needed for years – including at last month’s ramping inquiry. We need a whole-of-health-system approach, and we must stop ill-considered band-aid fixes that just put more pressure on the boiling pots that are Tasmania’s emergency departments.”
To help fill the gaping holes in the health system that lead to patients being stranded in emergency departments and on ramps, ACEM is calling for parties to commit to:

1. At least 200 more safely staffed inpatient hospital beds, allocated according to operational need across the state.

2. A 20% increase in full-time inpatient specialist and allied health workers in the public hospital system, to ensure 24/7 access to services.

3. A $2 million investment to upskill, and support, 50 more regional doctors in emergency care skills, so they can provide better emergency care in their communities.

Tasmania’s emergency clinicians will publicly support policies that align with these three solutions and invites political parties to work with ACEM on plans to implement them state-wide.

Dr Ascencio-Lane said, “More staffed hospital beds and 24/7 inpatient specialist and allied health support workers will get people who are stranded in ambulances or ED cubicles into the next step of care they need, faster.”
"The acute healthcare workforce crisis will take time to fix, but upskilling local medical doctors in emergency care can fill the gap by helping more Tasmanians living outside the cities get the urgent healthcare they need, closer to home.”
ACEM has requested the federal government play its part in fixing Tasmania’s health system. Federal initiatives must include 24/7 security staff – integrated and appropriately trained to best support staff and patients – in every Tasmanian ED and ensuring the Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET) program continues past 2025.

Media: Melissa Howard, [email protected] +61 427 621 857
Policy: Caitlyn O’Dowd, [email protected] + 61 498 068 023