Great, but don’t use the hospi­tal

Mercury (Hobart) - - LETTERS -

THE sta­tis­tics say it all — 1800 peo­ple wait­ing more than 24 hours for ad­mis­sion to the Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal, when com­pared with two peo­ple for four ma­jor hos­pi­tals in Mel­bourne com­bined (“Right Royal mess,” Mer­cury, Oc­to­ber 31). This is un­be­liev­able. Our se­cre­tive State Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to pro­mul­gate the mes­sage of what a great and boom­ing econ­omy we have and what a great tourist des­ti­na­tion we are. Well, where is it, Premier, Trea­surer, Min­is­ter, etc? Yes, even the plebs are ask­ing.

Great to come here, so long as you don’t need care in our ma­jor hospi­tal. The ques­tion must also be asked, what pri­or­ity do psy­chi­atric bed num­bers have when com­pared to com­mu­nity and men­tal health ser­vice ex­pec­ta­tions? All we seem to hear from the State Gov­ern­ment are prom­ises that never see the light of day. Ray­mond Har­vey Clare­mont

Shoul­der to the wheel

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS on the ex­cel­lent Ed­i­to­rial (“Emer­gency needs a fix,” Mer

cury, Oc­to­ber 23). Sadly it takes a coro­nial inquest to present the facts about wait­ing times in the Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment. Even worse was the em­bar­rass­ing com­par­i­son with Mel­bourne, a city with a pop­u­la­tion of five mil­lion com­pared with Ho­bart’s 200,000. While ac­knowl­edg­ing ca­pac­ity as an is­sue, Dr Huckerby re­ferred to cul­tural change as just as crit­i­cal. No doubt we will hear more of the same di­a­tribe from the usual co­hort. In light of such ev­i­dence, surely the Gov­ern­ment’s ver­bosity and in­ac­tion must end. Cul­tural change be­gins with the Premier. Putting his shoul­der to the wheel, in lieu of del­e­gat­ing other min­is­ters to ac­count while he is out and about, rib­bon­cut­ting and sport­ing hard hats. With the Premier’s vi­sion for a pop­u­la­tion of 650,000 by 2050, now is the time to be in­vest­ing in health. Not re­duc­ing health bud­gets, squir­relling away sur­pluses. Lee-Anne Spinks Bel­lerive

Thank you

THANKS for high­light­ing the bed block cri­sis at the Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal Emer­gency Depart­ment as de­tailed by Dr Emma Huckerby at an inquest (“Right Royal mess,” Mer­cury, Oc­to­ber 31). Per­haps to­mor­row you can high­light the re­sponse of the Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment: chop­ping $50 mil­lion off the RHH bud­get. Per­haps Coroner Mc­Tag­gart could also high­light this fact. Michael Lough­head Sandy Bay

Sure as hell can fix it

“HOUS­TON, we have a prob­lem” … fa­mous words from outer space in 1970. As any­one knows, when you face a prob­lem, you do your ut­most best to solve it. It’s not rocket sci­ence. Premier Will Hodg­man may not have caused the Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal’s cri­sis, but he sure as hell has the means at his dis­posal to fix it. In­ter­est rates are the low­est in liv­ing mem­ory. Bor­row what­ever it takes and build a sec­ond pub­lic hospi­tal. Mac­quarie Point is per­fect! For­get cable cars, foot­ball, poker ma­chines and pris­ons, there is no more im­por­tant con­cern than life and health. Stand up to the bu­reau­cracy and lead. Tassie has an ageing and grow­ing pop­u­la­tion. The loan can be re­paid over decades, the ben­e­fits im­mense. Ev­ery Tas­ma­nian, old, young or mid­dle aged will thank you, Premier, from the bot­tom of their pre­cious hearts! Steve Bai­ley Glenorchy

Chris, come on down

HEY Chris Hemsworth, come to Tas­ma­nia, we’ll put on a show for you. Who knows, you might get the chance to spend more than 24 hours in our third-world emer­gency depart­ment. Paul Holdsworth Mt Nel­son

Be strong, min­is­ter

WE should hold a de­gree of em­pa­thy for Min­is­ter Sarah Court­ney in her port­fo­lio of Health – she is cer­tainly brave! With what is be­ing re­vealed at the RHH, it al­most seems the en­tire hospi­tal com­plex (nurses and doc­tors ex­cluded) is suf­fer­ing ar­te­rial block­age. The min­is­ter will need all her in­ter­nal for­ti­tude, diplo­macy, pa­tience, know-how and men­tal re­silience, to meet the chal­lenges – and I wish her well. With such an in­cur­able po­si­tion at hand, one could rec­om­mend de­fib­ril­la­tion to jerk the whole sys­tem back to life. Jack Buzelin Ta­roona

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