Tasmanian Health Plan

The Australian Government is supporting Tasmanians by investing in new mental health and primary care initiatives, new health infrastructure and new medical research that will mean real, on‑the‑ground benefits for all Tasmanians.

Page last updated: 10 April 2019

Tasmanian Health Plan (PDF 1963 KB)

Improved health care for all Tasmanians

The Australian Government is supporting Tasmanians by investing in new mental health and primary care initiatives, new health infrastructure and new medical research that will mean real, on-the-ground benefits for all Tasmanians.

The Australian Government’s Tasmanian Health Plan will improve lives, protect lives and save lives.

Funding for Tasmanian public hospitals will increase from $425 million a year to $525 million under a new hospitals agreement. This is in addition to the $730.4 million provided to support Mersey Community Hospital, record bulk billing in Tasmania and more than 2,000 new medicines subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The $91.9 million Tasmanian Health Plan significantly strengthens Tasmania’s health system by addressing health care needs, filling critical service needs and providing affordable and accessible health services for more Tasmanians, where and when they need them.

Through this Plan, we will deliver:

  • Greater hospital and health services and infrastructure ($35.1 million)
  • New cancer infrastructure ($4.4 million)
  • More MRI units for patients when and where they need them ($4.7 million)
  • Two extra diagnostic mammography units ($3 million)
  • Medical research ($12.4 million)
  • More mental health support ($24.4 million)
  • Improved alcohol and drug support ($7.4 million)
  • Better access to primary care ($500,000)

Primary and preventive health

We are committed to addressing the health challenge of our time – chronic disease. More than half of people over 65 have at least two chronic health conditions such as blood pressure, diabetes, heart condition, asthma and back pain.

MRI ($4.7 million)

Tasmania will get a new bulk-billed MRI service at Devonport, with funding of $4.7 million. A new MRI unit will allow patients to access Medicare-subsidised lifesaving scans for cancer, as well as stroke, heart and other medical conditions. The rebate for diagnostic services, including ultrasound and x-rays, is also increasing.

Diagnostic mammography ($3 million)

Tasmanians will have improved access to breast cancer diagnosis services with two additional diagnostic mammography units, one in Hobart and one in Launceston. The Government is providing $3 million for the units, delivering X-ray examination of breast cancers, particularly in women older than 40 years. Earlier diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can save lives.

Support for more drug and alcohol workers ($1.1 million)

We will provide $1.1 million for three more mental health and alcohol and drug support workers to help young Tasmanians work through their addiction. They will work within existing health services in Northern Tasmania.

City Mission drug and alcohol rehabilitation ($6.3 million)

Residential rehabilitation services provide people with safe and structured support to help them overcome drug and alcohol misuse. We will invest $6.3 million to build a new 10 bed facility in the greater Burnie region and to establish a new eight bed residential rehabilitation service in Circular Head. This investment will address capacity issues at the Serenity House residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation ‘time out’ facility at Sulphur Creek.

Strength2Strength program ($0.5 million)

We will allocate $500,000 for the Tasmanian Primary Health Network to engage experts such as physiotherapists and personal trainers to run the innovative ‘Strength2Strength’ program in North West Tasmania that focuses on strength and exercise treatment to improve chronic health and reduce hospital demand.

Hospital and cancer services

We are funding health and hospital facilities to ensure contemporary, best practice services for Tasmanians.

Elective surgery and primary care support ($34.7 million)

The Government is committed to improving health outcomes for Tasmanians with a $34.7 million package to reduce the time Tasmanian patients wait for elective surgery and support Tasmanians in rural and remote locations. This will enable an additional 6,000 surgeries and endoscopies to be provided. Up to $14.7 million will support the Tasmanian Rural Health Fund (TazReach) for the delivery of outreach specialist health services.

Birthing suites ($0.4 million)

The Government is providing $400,000 for capital works at the birthing suite at Launceston General Hospital. Receiving care in an up-to-date birthing suite will help women and their families feel more supported, so that labour and birth can progress as smoothly and naturally as possible.

Linear accelerator ($4.4 million)

The Government is helping Tasmanians in their fight against cancer. A second linear accelerator machine at the North West Centre at Burnie, funded by the Australian Government, will take the fight against cancer to a new level. Breast cancer patients will save around $1,500 with MRIs and PET scans now covered under Medicare.


University of Tasmania/Menzies Institute Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Flagship Program ($10 million)

The Government will support the Menzies MS Flagship Program with a $10 million investment.

The Menzies Institute, in partnership with the University of Tasmania, will continue its important work to improve outcomes and quality of life for more than 25,000 Australians living with MS, as well as research into cures and prevention for the disease. Tasmania has the highest prevalence of people with MS in Australia, making it a compelling site for this research initiative. This funding will expand MS research capacity and capability.

Preventive health research at the University of Tasmania ($2.4 million)

Our investment of $2.4 million will support research focusing on better coordinated care for people with chronic and complex disease, helping them to self-manage their condition and to keep them out of hospital.

Mental health

The Government is committed to ensuring people in Tasmania who have mental health concerns can access high-quality support where and when they need it. We are delivering more frontline services and innovative solutions to ensure that everyone has the best possible care when facing mental health challenges.

headspace ($3.5 million)

We will invest $3.5 million over four years for two headspace centres to support youth mental health services in Tasmania. This will upgrade the Devonport satellite service to a centre and establish a new satellite service in Burnie.

headspace is the Australian Government’s preferred method of service delivery for young people living with mental illness. It provides tailored and holistic mental health support, working closely with young people at a crucial time in their lives. In 2017–18, more than 3,000 young Tasmanians accessed headspace services.

Adult mental health centre ($10.5 million)

The Government is boosting mental health support for adults, with a trial of adult community mental health centres. A new centre in Launceston will provide a supportive environment where people can receive psychological, counselling or other mental health services, without requiring a prior appointment. The centre will operate over extended hours, seven days a week, and will provide a more welcoming alternative to emergency departments for those in crisis. Individuals will also be connected to existing community mental health services in their local area to ensure ongoing, integrated care.

Bushfire support ($0.4 million)

The Government is providing $400,000 to support Tasmanians, particularly in the Huon Valley, affected by the recent devastating bushfires. The Tasmania Primary Health Network will use this funding boost to increase the capacity of current counselling services, referral services and mental health support.

A new residential eating disorder clinic ($10 million)

Around one million Australians live with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are complex conditions which have one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric illness.

Proper treatment of the most severe eating disorders requires 24/7 intensive care. To help deliver this necessary support for the first time in Australia, the Australian Government will provide $10 million to establish a residential eating disorder centre in Hobart.

This centre will provide specialist care to people experiencing eating disorders, through in-patient best practice treatment programs. The centre will also help advance the way eating disorders are diagnosed and treated through training, education and advocacy.

Patients will also benefit from our historic $110 million investment in Medicare to provide up to 40 rebatable psychological and 20 dietetic sessions per year for people suffering from an eating disorder.