Improving hospitals and health care has been identified as the most important issue in the electorate, according to the respondents of a survey undertaken by the Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss.
Maryborough people remain dissatisfied with services available at their local hospital.
Wide Bay’s Community Survey 2016 asked Wide Bay residents more than one hundred questions on topical issues and around 2,500 people completed the questionnaire.
“Out of 18 policy areas, 46% of those completing the survey rated hospital and health care among their top four most important concerns,” Mr Truss said.
Other concerns finishing in the top four included supporting small business to create jobs 32%; securing and defending our borders 31%; and repaying government debt 31%.
Mr Truss said health had also rated highly in his previous electorate surveys in 2009 and 2012.
89% of respondents said they were readily able to access a general practitioner; 84% could access dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors etc; but only 55% said they were readily able to access medical specialists (35% said they could not).
“People living in Noosa were much happier with medical services available in their area compared with other parts of the Wide Bay electorate,” Mr Truss said.
“In the Noosa Council area, 61% were satisfied with their hospital. 98% said they were able to access a general practitioner when needed. 93% could access dentists, physiotherapists and chiropractors and 77% could access medical specialists.
“In contrast, only 26% of Maryborough and district residents are satisfied with the range of services available at the Maryborough hospital. Mr Truss said the survey results demonstrate the need for the Queensland Government to allocate more of the extra funding they are receiving from the Federal Government to delivering better services to Maryborough, rather than spending money on more bureaucrats in Brisbane.
“In Murgon, only 32% said they can readily access medical specialists and only 69% can access dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors etc,” Mr Truss said.
“The survey also asked if people are prepared to pay higher taxes to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and only 21% of respondents indicated a willingness to pay more, while 59% said they were not,” Mr Truss said.
“The survey asked if Medicare should be extended to cover dental care, and 76% of respondents said yes. 49% of respondents were willing to pay a higher Medicare levy to cover dental care, 40% were opposed and 11% were unsure,” Mr Truss said.
“60% of respondents want the Government to continue to subsidise private health insurance, with 27% opposed and 12% were unsure,” Mr Truss said.
“Health ranked second highest amongst survey respondents on the list of what the Federal Government should do if it were to borrow more money, with 21% rating health as the highest priority. 33% said extra borrowings should be used for roads and infrastructure.
“60% of respondents were opposed to an increase in the GST, but if the GST was to be increased, 71% of respondents said the funds raised should be spent on health and welfare and 85% said it should be used to repay debt.
Mr Truss thanked those constituents who had taken the time to complete the survey.
“The information provided is very helpful for me and our community, identifying priorities and issues within the electorate,” Mr Truss said.
“Full results of the survey will be available on my website www.warrentruss.com soon.”