Federal health minister Tanya Plibersek has flown to Tasmania to discuss a funding bailout for the state's flailing health system.
Ms Plibersek arrived yesterday (June 5), meeting with medical groups, staff and federal MPs to learn more about the state's decision to slash more than $400 million from its health budget over four years to 2015.
The visit comes just weeks after independent senator Andrew Wilkie requested a rescue package from the federal government – and may indicate that the extra funding is being considered.
However, premier Lara Giddings believes that while the cash injection would not go astray, the state government "cannot always have our hand out to Canberra".
"We have to remember that we're also trying to drive structural reform in our health system and that will not change regardless of what money comes from the Australian government," she told the ABC today (June 6).
Residents with private health insurance can avoid the state funding cuts to services by accessing a wide range of services – as well as shorter waiting times – through their health cover.
Public hospitals in Tasmania are among the most complained about organisations, with the state's health complaints commissioner Simon Allston highlighting an increase in enquiries of more than 20 per cent in his 2011 annual report.