April 30, 2021
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has released a pre-election statement detailing its top priorities for the incoming Tasmanian Government once elected on 1 May 2021.
The key priorities for the incoming Government include:
- Developing a sustainable long term workforce plan to improve service delivery for all
- Fostering a culture of wellbeing for physicians and trainee physicians
- Addressing health inequities in the Tasmanian population, especially in the northwest of the state
- Introducing Minimum Unit Alcohol Pricing to reduce alcohol related harm in the community
Chair of the RACP Tasmanian Regional Committee, Clinical Associate Professor Rajesh Raj said, “There’s a lot of scope to improve the healthcare delivery in Tasmania.
“High quality and local training of junior doctors, including physician trainees, is crucial to ensure the availability of a capable specialist workforce to meet current and future healthcare needs.
“The incoming government must be cognisant of, support, and value the contribution made by physicians to training junior doctors within the Tasmanian health system.
“While clinical care is the primary role of most specialist medical practitioners, their duties also include the training, supervision and management of trainee doctors. The incoming government should acknowledge that these activities are an essential investment in ensuring that Tasmania has a sustainable specialist workforce in the future, including in specialties with relatively few practitioners in the state.
“The RACP also seeks a continuing commitment from all political parties to work in partnership with the College in finding ways to combat discrimination, bullying, harassment, and racism in health care settings.
“This includes taking proactive steps towards safe work arrangements and practices. Physicians need support for all aspects of a their work - including leadership, training, and career development opportunities - in ways that do not disadvantage family and other care responsibilities.
“The incoming Tasmanian Government must also place high priority on implementing a minimum unit price on alcohol – one of the most harmful drugs in Australia – to address the burden that high levels of consumption impose on the state’s health.”
Evidence shows minimum unit alcohol pricing works. We’ve seen the positive impacts in the Northern Territory, where alcohol-related assaults and emergency admission have decreased by 23 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, in the first 12 months of its implementation.
“A government is charged with maintaining the health and wellbeing of its communities. Addressing alcohol harm must be at the forefront of the new government’s actions in the years to come.”
The RACP’s Tasmanian election statement is available on the RACP website.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey 2017-18 – Tasmania
- Tasmanian Government Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmanian Alcohol Data and Trends Report 2016
- FARE, Alcohol Retails during COVID-19, 2021