BUNDABERG One Nation candidate Jane Truscott says she supports Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey's calls for a new, Level 5 hospital in the Bundaberg region.
Dr Truscott said Bundaberg was among the fastest growing regional cities in Australia.
She said as reported by the News Mail, the think tank Regional Australia has predicted Bundaberg will have the fifth fastest growth rate of all regional cities in Australia between 2013 and 2031.
Dr Jane Truscott, One Nation candidate for Bundaberg said, "It's exciting to know that Bundaberg is set for steady growth over the next two decades. Yet, we need to make sure that, as a community, we work together to meet the challenges that come with this growth."
An estimated 94,640 people call the Bundaberg region their home. It is anticipated that the region's population will grow over the next twenty years to 117,865 people. The population of the Wide Bay region is expected to reach 300,000 people by 2035.
"The health of our community relies on delivery of quality health care. We know that the prevalence of chronic disease in the Wide Bay region is among the highest in Australia. Top chronic diseases include asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, psychological distress and depression.
"I fully support Mayor Jack Dempsey in his call for a new Level 5 hospital in Bundaberg.
"I am committed to working with local, state and federal governments to deliver the health services the region needs. We also know we have high unemployment in the area. Building a new hospital will bring jobs during construction, ongoing employment of health and support personnel, along with improved access to health services for our community", Dr Truscott said.
"Fewer people will need to travel to Brisbane for diagnostic services and treatment.
"This will mean less strain on the Queensland Health Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme and better health outcomes for the
region. Development of a health precinct will mean more opportunities for education of health providers while proving an incentive for people to move to the area.
"Our governments and politicians need to take a bipartisan approach regarding important matters that impact our community members. This is such a matter. We need all levels of government and sitting members, regardless of political parties, to work together; putting people before politics," said Dr Truscott.
She said it has been estimated that the project would cost about $1 billion dollars and be staggered over 10 years.
Dr Truscott said no funding was allocated in the 2017-18 Queensland budget for a new hospital in Bundaberg.