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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hospitals top voter concern. 01/03/2006. ABC News Online

Hospitals top voter concern. 01/03/2006. ABC News Online

The issue of hospitals has hit the top of the election agenda in Tasmania, with the Government fending off doctors' claims of pork-barrelling at the expense of patients.

Voter surveys also show it is the electorate's major concern.

Tasmania has some of Australia's longest surgery waiting times and the highest incidence of several diseases.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the Government misdirects funds to hospitals in marginal northern seats at the expense of the major tertiary facility the Royal Hobart in the south.

It wants a study into the hospital's future released publicly, but the Government says it is incomplete.

It says the preliminary report supports its policies.

The AMA has called for a policy overhaul, possibly including a new Royal Hobart Hospital.

None of the parties will commit to that in the next term.

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