THE ALP candidate for the seat of Maryborough says health will be the number one concern for residents in next year's election.
Bruce Saunders, who will contest the seat against sitting member Anne Maddern and three other candidates, said while there were other key concerns, health would be the top priority for many.
He said the fact that Maryborough residents would be expected to travel to Hervey Bay hospital to access many services would be a key factor.
"It's tough enough to expect low-income residents of Maryborough to get to Hervey Bay to access basic medical services, however this is a huge issue for people in Tiaro, Brooweena, Aldershot and other outlying Maryborough communities," Mr Saunders said.
"Under the Newman government, we have seen the pathology department shut down at Maryborough Base Hospital.
"We have seen the aged care facility, Yaralla, outsourced with a loss of jobs and services to the town. Government pollies told us that people could use private facilities, however we have also seen St Stephen's private hospital closing down in Maryborough."
Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern said it was under the previous government Maryborough Hospital was 'gutted' and the majority of services taken to Hervey Bay.
"In contrast, patients are now admitted to Maryborough Hospital from the Maryborough Emergency Department, discharges from the Maryborough Hospital have increased from 4500 for the year ended 2011 to 9000 for the year ended June 2014," she said.