WITH a state election less than a year away, Palmer United candidate Steve Anderson has hit out at Anne Maddern, accusing the local member for Maryborough of failing her constituency when it comes to health care in the region.
Mr Anderson, who is a candidate for Maryborough, said community concern about local health services is deepening in the wake of the government decision to axe Maryborough Hospital's pathology department and move other crucial health services to Hervey Bay Hospital.
"Enough is enough. Anne Maddern refuses to speak up for Maryborough when it comes to securing health funding for this area," Mr Anderson said.
"Maryborough Hospital is now little more than a spare bed facility for the Hervey Bay Hospital.
"Since the pathology department was closed down we have been forced to wait for crucial test results. It's just not good enough.
"Our only local private hospital, St Stephen's, is now mooted for closure. What's next Anne?
"With the re-announcement this week of the $17 million oncology and dental unit to be constructed in Hervey Bay, is the writing on the wall for the Maryborough Dental Clinic also?"
Ms Maddern hit back, saying Mr Anderson's bold comments are light on facts.
"The PUP candidate is misinformed and it concerns me that he would jeopardise our good working relationship with the privately run St Stephen's hospital," she said.
"Hospital waiting lists have been reduced, pathology services are still available, dental chairs have increased from 8 to 15 since I have been local member and as of today there are zero long waits on dental.
"This should be applauded, not jeopardised."