Thursday 22 June 2017
Hansard of the Legislative Council
Epilepsy Sufferers - Access to Neurologist
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) to ACTING LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
(1) Can the Government say whether Tasmanian epilepsy sufferers have quick access to a neurologist specialising in epilepsy?
(2) Why are category 1 patients waiting up to 12 months for an appointment with a neurologist at the Launceston General Hospital?
(3) Will the Government accept that epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in Tasmania and move to provide adequate specialist care?
Mr Deputy President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question. Epilepsy is one of the most common presentations in neurology. All patients have access to neurology in Tasmania's acute care for epilepsy through emergency departments and referral upon stabilisation to neurologists.
There has been longstanding difficulty in attracting neurologists to regional and remote areas, including northern Tasmania, which puts pressure on service delivery.
The THS is working to address this, focusing efforts on recruiting a neurologist to service northern Tasmania and increasing service levels identified as part of the Government's white paper.
Rather than reduce the service provisions, locum cover will provide care in the interim.