The Royal Hobart and Launceston General Hospitals are in the grip of a seasonal surge, with a perfect storm of higher-than-normal patient numbers, plus staff off sick.
Health Department Secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks says the wait for aged care placements is one bottleneck clogging the hospitals along with patients needing NDIS assessments.
The health boss is urging members of the public to avoid hospital EDs and head to the newly-opened seven-day-a-week urgent care clinics in Hobart and Launceston instead.
“This includes the new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic at Your Hobart Doctor at 71 Bathurst St, Hobart, which is open from 4pm-10pm seven days a week, and the Medicare UCC at Launceston Medical Centre at 247 Wellington St, Launceston, which is open from 2pm-8pm seven days a week. These clinics provide bulk-billed healthcare for urgent health issues that do not require a presentation to the Emergency Department,” said Ms Morgan-Wicks.
“For less urgent health concerns, Tasmanians can also access after-hours GP services, visit their local pharmacy for advice, or contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 to speak to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can provide advice on whether people should manage your condition at home, book an appointment with a GP or go to the ED.”