Mersey announcement raises questions about Federal-State funding deal

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck has questioned whether changes to service delivery at Mersey
Community Hospital are in breach of the funding agreement between the Australian and Tasmanian
governments.

The 2008 Heads of Agreement between the Federal and State Governments, struck in 2008 and reaffirmed
just last year, spells out that the State will deliver:

General and specialist medical services (including paediatric care)

Surgery and surgical specialities (other than planned complex surgery) that can safely be performed
at the hospital, including overnight planned and unplanned surgery and related post surgical care.

"Today there is an announcement that all after hours and weekend surgery will move from the Mersey to
the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie," Senator Colbeck said.

"I have broad concerns about the integrity of this agreement and whether the Federal State arrangement is
delivering on the Gillard Government's promise to the Mersey Region.

"I've spoken with the Auditor General about these concerns as part of that department's audit of
expenditure under the funding agreement.

"I also will be meeting with local heath service management towards the end of this week and look
forward to their response to these questions."

091012 Mersey announcement raises questions

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