St.LukesHealth' Paul Lupo: We need to change the status quo

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The CEO of Tasmanian-based private health insurer St.LukesHealth, Paul Lupo, says the status quo is not enough to ensure the health and well-being of people in the state.

"Health enables us to live a good life, to contribute and actively engage with our community and to drive a strong economy," said Mr Lupo.

"But we know the current health outcomes for Tasmanians are not doing so well on every measure and across all ages and population groups.

"So, I ask you, if you could imagine a health system that met your needs now and into the future – what would it look like?"

Mr Lupo said the insurer recently sought feedback from its members in Northern Tasmanian, specifically asking their views on a new private hospital for Launceston.

"When asked to comment on Calvary Healthcare’s proposal to create a co-located hospital within the Launceston General Hospital precinct, an overwhelming majority of our members supported the project," he said.

"Co-location is a piece within a puzzle to better enable Tasmanians to access the care they need in a more seamless way, with more choice. It enables healthcare providers to share the same campus or building, specialists and services. It enables the health system as a whole to achieve efficiencies and develop different styles of care. Ultimately, it takes us a step closer to better health outcomes for all of us."

The St.LukesHealth boss said the state government's fast-growing spending on health will become unsustainable.

He said, "We need to challenge the status quo on health in Tasmania. We need to work together with the state and federal governments and put the health needs of 'Tasmanians' ahead of the needs of the 'health system'. The current and future health of our population should be front and centre in our thinking."

According to Mr Lupo, the proposed co-located private and public hospital is a "a once in a generation opportunity to change the way that acute healthcare is delivered to Northern Tasmanians".

"There is huge potential for the project to change the trajectory of our current health statistics and give more Tasmanians the opportunity to live with good health, not with pain or waiting and hoping their name comes up like a lottery number on the long waiting list. And not just those who can afford to pay for health insurance but for all of us."

"A project of this magnitude is the game-changer we have been waiting for," he said, pointing to its potential to attract and retain specialists, improve patient outcomes and stimulate the economy.

"Let’s do this right and do this now – for our current Northern community and importantly for the next generation," added Mr Lupo.