Consultation next step in updating Tasmania's Health Plan

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The clinicians tasked with developing an updated health plan are seeking the advice and leadership of colleagues and views from the public to help create an achievable vision for future health services in Tasmania.

The Chair of the Tasmanian Lead Clinicians Group (TLCG), Dr Alasdair MacDonald, said it was vitally important health professionals got involved in the planning of Tasmania's health system in a way that was independent of politics and set outs the best possible advice to government, health care providers and the community.

Dr MacDonald said the original Health Plan was now six years old and needed updating to take into account the changed economic environment and Tasmania's significantly altered health care structure, including the introduction of Tasmanian Health Organisations.

"The TLCG is leading the development of a series of sector-specific plans and has released Tasmania's Health Planning Framework which includes ways to consult with clinicians and the community," Dr MacDonald said.

The TLCG was established by the Minister for Health, Michelle O'Byrne, to provide independent clinical advice on health care priorities in Tasmania.

The Group includes medical, nursing and allied health providers from the public sector, along with providers from the primary health and private sectors.  They are drawn from all areas of the state and are in active clinical practice.  

Dr MacDonald said the Group's aim was to develop a clinically-led plan which was objective and evidence–based, so political leaders could commit knowing it was informed by the best evidence and supported by the wider clinical community.

 "Evidence suggests that for too long the health system in Tasmania has been influenced by politics and we would like to see all political decisions primarily driven by sound clinical advice.

 "The TLCG accepts that significant additional funding for the health system is not likely in the foreseeable future nor would it alone improve Tasmanian health outcomes.

"We are therefore urging clinicians and the wider community to play their part in bringing about change within realistic expectations.

 "We need a genuine and informed public conversation about how we prioritise the many competing needs our health system faces, now and in the future," Dr MacDonald said.

The TLCG has identified a need to improve health system data so it can be used to accurately predict future demand for services.

It has developed a structure for health care planning and a stream of sector specific plans will flow from that over time, following a consultation process.

Tasmania's Health Planning Framework will guide engagement with the community.  The Framework along with more information about the next steps in the Tasmanian Lead Clinicians Group's work