Upset patients appeal for more haste to reopen hydrotherapy pool

The pool remains closed a month on from when the Tasmanian Health Service was asked by Health and Wellbeing Minister Jeremy Rockliff to pursue a short-term lease arrangement to get the Latrobe hydrotherapy pool reopen so patients impacted by its closure for months can use it again.

The pool is owned by aged care provider Uniting AgeWell and is leased and operated by the THS to provide hydrotherapy treatment.

On Tuesday, Mr Rockliff said a lease is being negotiated between the THS with Uniting AgeWell, to enable the pool to reopen, while a longer-term solution is investigated.

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“I’m advised this is progressing and it should reopen in the near future,” Mr Rockliff said.

“The THS has advised patients and other pool users of alternatives, which includes visiting a hydrotherapy pool at Devonport.”

However, the woman who asked not to be named said it was taking too long and in the meantime hundreds of people suffered due to an administration issue.

The woman has osteoarthritis. She had one knee replacement done but is waiting on surgery on the other knee and a hip replacement.

“The physio told me my muscle strength has really deteriorated,” the woman said. “I’m in a lot more pain and I’ve become really restricted.

 Upset: Hydrotherapy pool users Gillian Walker, Phyllis Targett, Joan Parremore and Kate, and Edgar Huxtable, 7, are disappointed the pool remains closed at Latrobe because of issues with the lease. Picture: file.

“I just have not got a lifestyle at the moment because it limits me so much and I’m not sleeping properly because I’m in pain. It affects your mental health.”

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The woman said she tried to use the Devonport pool but it was not suitable for her. “You just feel useless,” she said.

“I’m just desperate for the pool to reopen and I know there are many other people too.”

Pool user, Gillian Walker, was frustrated it had taken so long to reopen.

Mrs Walker had major back surgery and used the pool therapy to improve her mobility. She received a letter from Mr Rockliff reiterating what had been said but he gave no date to reopen the pool.

“I’m disgusted that after four or five weeks this is all they can say,” she said.