Tas Libs take aim at Canberra over health

By Ethan James
Acting Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff says the federal government response was underwhelming. (AAP)

Tasmania's acting Liberal premier says the federal government response to a plea from states and territories for more health funding has been "less than satisfactory".

Health ministers from all eight jurisdictions penned a letter in late September asking for extra Commonwealth help during the critical phase of the COVID-19 response.

"Quite rightly all state health ministers wrote to the federal government saying we do need more support," Acting Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff, who is also the state's health minister, said on Thursday.

"We have had a less than satisfactory response back."

Mr Rockliff didn't detail the response but said state health ministers would continue to fight for more funding given the "extraordinary" pandemic circumstances.

"We have detailed our concerns when it comes to the impacts on our health system, in terms of funding, as a result of the pandemic," he said.

"We absolutely expect nothing less than our fair share.

"We will continue to advocate on behalf of our respective citizens in our respective states that we need the federal government to stump up, like the states are stumping up."

According to media reports, the letter says states and territories are under unrelenting strain due to COVID-19 demands and pre-existing trends of increased hospital activity.

Health ministers have warned the national funding model will take several years to reflect these costs, leaving it difficult to sustain the system in the meantime.

Earlier this week, Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said greater federal health funding was a key element before she considers reopening the state's borders.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously indicated the federal government has no intention of changing the current funding arrangements.

Tasmania has largely been spared the pandemic pain felt by many mainland states, particularly New South Wales and Victoria.

The island state faced a deadly outbreak that forced the closure of two northwest hospitals in early 2020 but has recorded just two cases this year amid a tough border stance.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.