A Shorten Labor Government will ensure the people of Northern Tasmania have better access to mental health services by building a new mental health hub and 25 bed acute mental health unit within the Launceston Health Precinct.

Labor will invest $15 million to build the new hub, which will be located close to the Launceston General Hospital and will replace the Northside ward.

The new hub will provide the best and most modern models of care – providing acute care, as well as facilities for group care, day programs and outreach services to enable better integration with the community.

Some sites around the current hospital – within the Launceston Health Precinct – will be considered for the new hub.

This builds on Labor’s commitment last month to give residents of Northern and North West Tasmania 24/7 access to the country’s best stroke specialists, under a Labor plan to roll out state-of-the-art telehealth technology to regional hospitals across Australia.

The seven million Australians who live in the regions have poorer health outcomes than those in the cities. Labor is committed to addressing this inequality, which is why we’re making these sorts of investments.

They  will be funded through Labor’s $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund.

Labor has also committed an additional $30 million to halve Tasmania’s elective surgery backlog and $4.5 million to restore Tazreach, a program that brought specialists to regional Tasmania but was axed by the Liberals.

We will also spend $1 million on a new Reproductive Health Hub.

The Liberals on the other hand have cut billions of dollars from public hospitals. The Liberals’ cuts have led to a crisis in Tasmania’s health and hospital system.

As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut funding from health while trying to give an $80 billion tax handout to big business, including $17 billion to the big banks.

As Prime Minister, Morrison locked in these cuts in the Federal Budget this week.

The Australian people are sick of the cuts. They want investment in their hospitals.

That’s what a Shorten Labor Government will deliver.