Five private health services from Tasmania and Victoria have been selected to perform up to $25 million of taxpayer-funded elective surgeries.
Tenders were called as part of the Government’s bid to deal with long elective surgery waiting lists.
Under the process, the Health Department will negotiate with the suppliers to determine which surgeries are conducted by each provider and at what cost.
Acting Health Minister Rene Hidding has announced the five successful tenderers which include Victorian hospital operator Epworth Health Centre.
“There’s nothing wrong with that, there’ll be a mix of Tasmanian and Victorian providers,” Mr Hidding said.
“What we’re after is the best surgeons to drive down this waiting list.”
The Epworth will join Healthscope, which runs the Hobart Private Hospital and Melbourne-based facilities, Calvary Health Care, Hobart Day Surgery and Health Care Burnie on a panel that can bid to perform the surgeries.
“We don’t think at all that the Melbourne providers have any edge at all, it won’t be more efficient at all,” he said.
“In fact, travel costs could add to that, therefore one would think the Tasmanian providers have an edge, but we’ll be working with everyone on the panel to drive down this waiting list.”
Tasmanian public hospitals could also share in some of the $25 million in funding provided by the Commonwealth Government to target people that have been waiting for surgery the longest.
The acting Minister would not put a figure on how many surgeries the funding would provide.
“It’s not wise to make it numbers driven, that would lead the system into going for the easy surgeries.
“This will be driven by the clinical needs of the patients on the waiting list.”