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2021 State Election Candidate Commitments

2021 State Election Candidate Commitments

The ANMF three-point plan focusses on ensuring that the key risks affecting the nursing and midwifery workforce can be elevated to the Department of Health Executive, such as the over 400 Full-Time Equivalent nurse and midwife position vacancies across the State, implementation of recruitment units in the South, North and North West to assist in recruiting, particularly Tasmanian Graduate nurse in a streamlined way and also to ensure that additional clinical support is implemented to support early-career nurses and midwives with additional clinical nurse educators and clinical coaches.

Election promises

Each independent candidate and political party was asked to commit in writing to support the ANMF Alternate Health Policy. Many of the independent candidates have offered their supported and committed to advocating for nurses and midwives as well as some of the major political parties. Below is a summary of the commitments to the ANMF Alternate Election Health Policy in alphabetical order. The commitments are one’s that are up to date at the time of publication, 28 April 2021. Please click through the tabs to read each candidate’s response. 

Supports the ANMF plan and will enact this if elected.

The Tasmanian Greens have committed to the below if elected on 1 May 2021:

  • New Graduate Nurses: Currently there are around 400 nurse vacancies in Tasmania. It is crucial to fill these positions, and the new vacancies left by an increasing number of retiring nurses. We will hire 600 new graduate nurses in the next four years.
  • New Permanent Hospital Staff: Tasmania’s hospitals are significantly understaffed, putting unreasonable strain on nurses and midwives. We will recruit 40 permanent pool staff nurses and midwives for the Launceston General Hospital, 40 for the Royal Hobart Hospital, and 40 for the North West Regional and Mersey Hospitals. This will ensure minimum staffing levels for safety are always met, without resorting to unfair and expensive methods such as double shifts.
  • New Psychiatric Emergency Nurses: A recent Coroner’s report into the death of a mental health patient in the RHH Emergency Department recommended recruiting Psychiatric Emergency Nurses (PENs) to enable proper triage, assessment and treatment of ED mental health presentations. We will recruit 10 new PENs statewide.
  • Statewide Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery: The abolition of the Statewide Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery position in 2020 was a backwards step for Tasmania’s health system and has contributed to significant issues for workload and safety. This role is critical in ensuring the consistent application of policy, industrial, and professional agendas across the state. We would re-establish the role, and ensure it sits on the Department of Health’s Executive.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Recruitment Unit: Currently nursing and midwifery managers are expected to take a leading role in recruitment, in addition to their regular duties. This process is not effective and involves a significant workload burden. We will establish a dedicated, specialised recruitment process to tackle the shortfall of nurses and midwives in Tasmania.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Development Model: Due to competition with other states for experienced nurses, the only realistic path to significantly increasing Tasmania’s nursing and midwifery workforce is through recruiting new graduates. In doing so, it is essential to invest in supporting and developing these staff so they’re able to do their jobs effectively, and patients are getting the best possible care. We will invest in 25 Clinical Educators and 50 Clinical Coaches to assist with policy and professional support, and to onboard new nurses into individual areas.

For further commitments please see additional comments at the end of this article.

Supports the three recommendations outlined in the ANMF survey- the financial cost is small compared to the benefits to staff and the community to be made, and as the ANMF has also pointed out, it would be cost-neutral in the not-too-distant future, which makes it a bit of a no-brainer!

Is very supportive of the initiatives the ANMF has proposed and would strongly advocate for them as an independent member, whichever party formed Government.

Have committed to fund in full the ANMF Alternate Election Health Policy and will employ an additional 150 nurses and midwives across the state to improve the standard of patient care. For further commitments please see additional comments at the end of this article.

The Tasmanian Liberals have committed to the below if elected on 1 May 2021: 

  • To employ up to an additional 280 full-time equivalent staff to support new and boosted services across Tasmania, including more than 160 nurses, 14 doctors, 30 allied health staff as well as more than 70 hospital support staff.
  • To establish a Health Staff Recruitment Taskforce, to look at how we can improve recruitment for our hospitals.
  • That they will convene the Recruitment Taskforce within 30 days of the swearing-in of a re-elected Majority Liberal Government and will invite professional organisations, including the ANMF, as well as the AMA and the University of Tasmania, to participate, alongside the Department of Health and the State Service Management Office.
  • That they are committed to ensuring we have the most effective mix of nursing workforce within our service to support retention and reduce pressure on our existing staff. This work will therefore include specific consideration of the ANMF’s recruitment proposals and other initiatives, to ensure we have a health workforce that meets the needs of Tasmanians now and into the future.

For further commitments please see additional comments at the end of this article.

If elected, Mathew wishes to communicate further on the concerns of the ANMF, nurses, and midwives.

Wholeheartedly supports a Statewide Executive Director of Nursing at Midwifery, but only if this person is appointed at Deputy Secretary level so the position has a high level of authority. She also wholeheartedly support the nursing at midwifery recruitment units, and believes the sooner the Government do this, the better for the entire profession and equally importantly, for the health system. The nursing and midwifery development model of 25 additional nursing educators along with 50 new clinical coaches has her full support.

Other election promises

In related health promises, major parties have also announced the following:


  • Funding for additional allied health professionals in critical need community health centres.
  • Allocation of $3 million annually in grants for community-based preventative health initiatives.
  • Increases to paramedic staffing by 224 full-time jobs over two years.
  • Investment in 27 new ambulances, and new stations at Ouse, Legana, the Channel and Rokeby.
  • Recruitment of 120 new nurses and midwives across four hospitals, 10 new psychiatric emergency nurses and 600 graduate nurses.
  • 25 clinical educators and 50 clinical coaches to help train new nurses.
  • Creation of specialised nursing and midwifery recruitment units in each region.
  • To re-establish the role of Statewide Executive Director of Nursing.
  • $150,000 indexed annually to RSL Tasmania to expand its mental health outreach to veterans.
  • To establish a wellbeing centre in Huonville in the former RSL Huonville sub-branch building.


  • $40 million to put mental health workers in every public primary and high school across the state.
  • $1.35 million for the Speak Up, Stay ChatTY organisation to run programs in schools and sporting clubs.
  • $137 million to employ an additional 65 permanent doctors (35 medical specialists and 30 surgical specialists) across Tasmania to “clear the elective surgery and outpatient wait list”, employ an additional 150 nurses and midwives across the state to “improve the standard of patient care”, invest in a “major IT upgrade to enhance tele-health and online health services”.
  • $390 million over four years to redevelop the Hobart Repatriation Hospital as part of Stage 3 of the Royal Hobart Hospital master plan.
  • $197 million to upgrade 17 rural hospitals and provide 24/7 care at 30 Community Health Centres across the state.
  • Establish 10 GP Extended Care Centres.
  • Employ 144 new full-time paramedics and two new stations in high-growth areas.
  • $2.5 million to transform the Mersey Community Hospital into a National Centre for Rural Health and Integrated Maternity Care.
  • $5 million for capital works at the Mersey Community Hospital.
  • $23 million over four years for 25 extra nurses at the North West Regional Hospital.
  • $67 million for a mental health facility at the NWRH.
  • Establish a suicide prevention commission.
  • Establish a disability services commissioner
  • Increase the Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association Grants program to $175,000 per year.


  • $156.4 million over four years across the state to address elective surgery wait-times.
  • Provide an additional 7,400 surgeries and endoscopies for the state’s north, with a funding boost of $52.1 million over the next four years.
  • Provide an additional 20,000 dental appointments statewide, across emergency dental, general dental care and denture clinics.
  • Deliver a co-located private hospital adjacent to the Launceston General Hospital, with an expected investment of around $120 million.
  • Commence in 2021-22 the next stages of the Launceston General Hospital redevelopment master plan with a $580 million investment over 10 years to meet future demand.
  • Provide a one-off $20 million funds to deliver care sooner for Tasmanians by “ensuring private hospitals are better able to support public hospitals to manage demand”.
  • $52.0 million for in-home and local community-delivered palliative and community health care services.
  • Uncosted commitment to “invest in a new statewide Hospital Equipment fund”.
  • Uncosted commitment to “support the work” of Family Planning Tasmania to deliver health services across the state for women.
  • Increase access to medical cannabis products in Tasmania, including allowing GP prescriptions.
  • $1 million to upgrade the Dover Medical Centre to expand and improve access to primary health and GP services.
  • $200 million ($90 million of which was in the last budget) towards the second stage of the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment, which will include an expanded ICU and ED.
  • $30 million towards the second stage of Kingston Health Centre.
  • $55 million, which includes $20 million to upgrade the Mersey Community Hospital Redevelopment
  • $60 million towards the first stage of a “major redevelopment” of Burnie’s North-West Regional Hospital. Of that, $40 million will go towards a new mental health precinct, while $20 million will be provided for ward upgrades to provide additional bed capacity. Stage one to be completed by 2025.
  • Funding for two paramedics in Strahan
  • Provide an additional $560,000 for staffing at the West Coast District Hospital, and $400,000 to upgrade hospital equipment
  • Establish a disability services commissioner.
  • Work with the federal government to have pharmacists more able to provide vaccinations
  • $56 million for mental health services.

Updates correct as at 28 April 2021
Authorised by Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary

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