SICKLY STATE OF HEALTH
Report calls for smarter management of economy
THE poor health of Tasmanians is a “handbrake” on the state’s economy, the latest Tasmania Report has revealed.
The finding is one of seven key issues identified for state leaders to address in order to “close the gap” and to better benefit from Tasmania’s best economic position in 15 years.
THE relative poor health of Tasmanians is a “handbrake” on the state’s economy and a greater focus is needed on funding preventive measures, a new report has found.
The fifth iteration of the Tasmania Report, to be released today, said while efficiently treating the sick was important, so was keeping them out of the system in the first place.
The report, initiated by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said despite the state spending a similar amount on the sector per capita as other states, health outcomes were poor compared to the rest of the country.
TCCI chairwoman Susan Parr said as Tasmania experienced its best economic situation for 15 years, leaders must commit to strategic plans to improve outcomes in areas like health and education.
She said mediocrity was not the future Tasmanians deserved.
“Tasmanians are the unhealthiest, oldest, worst educated, most underemployed and most dependent on government benefits in Australia,’’ she said.
“The flow-on effects mean increasing health costs, more people who feel alienated from society, and who in turn, have no stake in developing communities.”
The report found: INCREASED spending in health — now almost a third of the state’s total budget and predicted to rise further — had not been matched by improvements in health outcomes.
TASMANIA’S economy was the fastest growing in the country, but was not translating to significant jobs growth.
THE SUCCESS of the economy and rising population had created housing affordability issues.
A FOCUS on ensuring student retention to Year 12 or equivalent studies was working, but better long-term partnerships between industry and training providers were needed to address skills shortages.
A REDUCTION in the number of councils was needed.
STATE population growth had been driven by international migration, but was below the national average and was tipped to decline. There was a need to attract younger, skilled people.
Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Kym Goodes said a strong economy was something to be proud of, but said it needed to be used to set the state up for the future.