The federal government has announced a $325 million rescue package for Tasmania's ailing health system.
Health minister Tanya Plibersek outlined the funding boost last week (June 15) after the state government introduced plans for more than $400 million in health budget cuts over four years to 2015.
"Tasmania has an older population than the national average; it's got a faster ageing population … a higher level of chronic disease [and] a small and dispersed population. It has a unique set of circumstances aside from the budget problems that the Tasmanian government have also responded to," she told News Limited sources.
Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie made the request for the rescue package in May and welcomed the federal government's financial intervention.
"I'm hopeful the federal assistance package will go a long way towards taking the state's public health system off the critical list," he told the AAP (June 15).
Residents with private health insurance can avoid the issues with public services funding by accessing a wide range of services – as well as shorter waiting times – through their health cover.
Mr Wilkie added that the federal funding would count for little "unless it's followed by genuine reform to put Tasmania's public health system on a more sustainable footing".