A Tasmanian health initiative will be closed today (January 6) due to low patient numbers.
The Hospital in the Home program – run by the Launceston General Hospital – has been forced
to close due to a lack of state government funding.
The scheme aids those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cystic fibrosis.
According to state health minister Michelle O’Byrne, the standard of care for the 23 affected patients will be maintained despite the closure.
"The Northern Area Health Service proposed closing the Hospital in the Home Service as part of its savings strategies, arguing it was an expensive model that was not utilising medical staff as efficiently as such a program should be," she said yesterday (January 5).
The decision is set to deliver savings of $175,000 this financial year.
"We do not anticipate any increased rate of re-admission by changing the way we provide the service," the minister added.
As Australians become older and medical expenses increase, some may find private health insurance cover beneficial in reducing waiting times and offering a choice of doctor when attending hospital.