Published: 22 March 2019

Legislative Council Thursday 21 March, 2019


Regarding access to televisions for patients in Tasmanian public hospitals -

(1) What is the cost per day for patients to access a television at the bedside in each public hospital throughout Tasmania? 

(2) What company or organisation provides a television and the service in each hospital where patients are required to pay? 

(3) In hospitals where the service is provided by an external provider -

(a) what is the average age of television units in each hospital?

(b) what are the terms of each of the service level agreements, including -

(i) the length of each contract/agreement?
(ii) the replacement timeframe for televisions?
(iii) response times for repairs?
(iv) mains schedules?
(v) determination of costs?

(4) With regard to service agreements, including attending to equipment breakdown and the replacement of faulty equipment, are these agreements fully complied with? If not, how often are the agreements breached and what is the penalty?

(5) How often are nursing and other hospital staff required to assist patients with access to, or repairs to, or problem-solving of patients' televisions?

(6) What will the arrangement be for patient access to bedside televisions in the new K Block at the Royal Hobart Hospital?

(7) What, if any, other service provided to patients in Tasmania's public hospitals is provided by, or contracted to, external providers?


Mr President, I thank the member for Murchison for her question.

(1) Contactors charge a maximum of $10 per day for non-concession cardholders and $9 per day for concession cardholders. This rate reduces to $49.90 per week or a concessional rate of $42.90 per week.

(2) Hills Health Solutions and Merlin Technology provides television services within the state's four major hospitals.

(3) (a) The Tasmanian Health Service - THS - does not own the equipment and therefore cannot provide information as to the exact age of each unit.

(b) Agreements include provisions around charges and the timely repair of televisions in the event of faults. The Merlin Technology contract expires on 31 August 2019 and the original contract with Hills Health Solutions was allowed to expire, although the service provided by Hills Health Solutions continues as per the previous contractual terms. THS will consider the terms of the Hill Health Solutions agreement concurrently with the Merlin Technology arrangement in the second half of 2019.

(4) All agreements are fully complied with.

(5) No records are kept but this is anecdotally to be considered to be very minimum if at all.

(6) The Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment steering committee is working with the Tasmanian Health Service and the Royal Hobart Hospital on the best solutions for provision of patient entertainment and technology 
requirements as part of commissioning planning for the new K Block.

(7) THS purchases services from the private sector as required; these services include pathology, medical imagining and elective surgery.

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