Health system concerns locals

TACKLING long waits for health services, sky-high fuel prices or an angry terrorist ? the choice isn't easy but Gladstone residents rated the health system as their biggest concern.

A Sensis consumer report for September found Australians rated high petrol prices as more worrying than a terrorist attack, their own health or the environment.

However, when The Observer questioned more than 100 people yesterday, it was found just over 50 per cent believed the health system was the most important issue to them.

Vicki Nunn rated the health system as the biggest worry both for herself and local citizens and questioned why the government wasn't offering more assistance for patients who had to travel for medical help.

Gladstone residents found it was hard to rank the three issues and said they were all important. Twenty nine per cent said high fuel prices were their biggest concern.

Interviewees said fuel prices were what affected them most and had affected their choice of car and overall budget. For most, the issues generated heated discussion and Terri Jen said the price of fuel was 'just ridiculous'.

Bernie Heal was concerned the government was taking too big a slice from the fuel price.

'The government should reduce its GST,' Mr Heal said. Twenty two of the 119 people polled yesterday said terrorism was their highest concern and some said Australians were too relaxed and should take terrorism more seriously.

Some Gladstone residents, one per cent, raised other concerns, such as the future of Telstra.

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