Close this search box.

Right to information request reveals 700 ‘unfunded’ health positions in Tasmania

Pulse Tasmania
Right to information request reveals 700 'unfunded' health positions in Tasmania. Image / Pulse

The Tasmanian Government has accused Labor of “fearmongering” after the opposition claimed 700 health jobs were on the chopping block under a new vacancy control board.

Labor’s Ella Haddad said data revealed in a Right to Information request shows the board is being used as a ‘smokescreen’ for job cuts, which she says the government has refused to rule out.


“What these RTI documents reveal is that at least 700 positions are technically unfunded and that means they’ll be cut and abolished from the health system,” Haddad said.

“Those jobs could be in any area of the health system. The government has refused to rule out cuts to nurses, midwives, pharmacy roles, radiographers, cleaning staff across the board.”

The documents contain two emails from Acting Health Department Secretary Dale Webster outlining the purpose of the board, which was established in December and has been tasked with reviewing and approving all vacant positions within the health system.

Labor MP Ella Haddad. Image / Pulse

“From today there will be an additional step in all recruitment process (as the final step before advertising),” one email reads.

“All [Proposal to Vary Establishment] PTVE (funded or unfunded) will be examined by a Vacancy Control Committee which will … be looking at need for the position, whether it is an expansion or replacement of existing services and playing a key role in ensuring that redeployment is the first option in all recruitment processes, including whether there are unfunded staff elsewhere who could be redeployed.”

A second email from Webster states: “We are currently carrying more than 700 positions which are not ‘funded’ in our establishment.” The surrounding text was redacted.


Haddad said the cuts come at a time when the state is facing its worst ever health crisis and called for the government to be held to account for its “culture of cover-up”.

“These are jobs with people working in them. Many of them are positions with people employed casually or part-time or on a temporary fixed term basis … we need those jobs filled,” she said.

“Their first reaction when they’re asked information is to hide it. They are not honest with the Tasmanian people. They’re not honest in the Tasmanian Parliament.”

Launceston General Hospital. Image / Pulse

A state government spokesperson said the opposition “has nothing to offer Tasmanians except relentless negativity”.

“Under our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future, the Government is investing record levels into health care and the Department of Health will continue to ensure it has the best workforce profile to meet demand,” the spokesperson said.

“While Labor starts slashing health jobs and merging hospitals in Victoria, the Tasmanian Government is undertaking a recruitment blitz for health staff.”

“Labor’s cuts in Victoria will help us recruit the staff we are looking for.”

However, Haddad said it was getting harder and harder to “marry up” claims the state government is on a “recruitment blitz” for new doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals when they are cutting jobs.

“Which is it? You’re cutting 700 jobs or you’re trying to employ more health workers? Because it can’t be both,” Haddad said.

More of The Latest


Sponsored Links


Share this article