Tasmania strives towards better stroke services

May 27, 2019
By Stroke Foundation Tasmania State Manager Jodi Briggs

Dear Editor, 

On behalf of the Stroke Foundation, I welcome the Tasmanian Government’s continued commitment to building a better health system for all Tasmanians impacted by stroke.

The Government’s record $8.1 billion boost for health services in the 2019-2020 state budget included continued investment in improving stroke awareness, treatment and support for stroke survivors and their families. 

This recognition will help to ease the burden of stroke in our community now and into the future. 

The partnership between the Stroke Foundation and Tasmanian Government to date has resulted in positive steps forward, but we must continue to build on that progress to ensure everyone can access the highest quality time-critical treatment we know saves lives and reduces disability.

Stroke is one of Australia’s greatest health challenges and Tasmania has the highest incidence of stroke per capita in Australia. Stroke is also among the most costly disease groups, placing significant burden on the health system and community. 

This year alone, it’s estimated Tasmanians will experience almost 1500 strokes and that number is expected to more than double to 3,400 by 2050.

The Government’s investment in regional health, the Ambulance service and establishment of a dedicated aeromedical service paved the way for the next advancement in stroke for the state – a state-wide stroke telemedicine network and treatment pathway.

A telemedicine network would link the state with a team of neurologists via computer software remotely, allowing them to review brain scans and provide diagnosis and timely treatment advice.

This is needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure Tasmanians are given every chance to access high quality, time critical stroke treatment.  

The opportunity is there. Let’s continue to do all we can to ensure Tasmanians survive and live well after stroke. 

Jodi Briggs 
Stroke Foundation 
Tasmania State Manager