Quay County residents believe the county’s first priority in health matters should be health care, followed by substance abuse, care before birth and teen pregnancy, according to results of a survey conducted by the Quay County Health Council.
The health council surveyed Quay County residents from April 26 to May 10 on health-related issues. The results were announced Thursday at a meeting of the council.
Survey results are used to help determine the council’s priorities for the next fiscal year, health council coordinator Alida Brown said.
Survey respondents were asked to pretend they had $1,000 to divide among identified health concerns in the county, and their priorities came out as follows:
• Health care, 32 percent
• Substance abuse, 26 percent
• Prenatal care, 18 percent
• Teen pregnancy, 10 percent
• Obesity, 7 percent
• Suicide prevention, 7 percent.
Survey respondents were also asked to list the three most important heath-related needs in the county, Brown said.
The most-often listed, she said were divided into two groups:
• Health care issues, including a need for more doctors and more knowledgeable doctors, 29 percent; specialty care, including cardiac care, surgery and dialysis, 19 percent; substance abuse and treatment, 18 percent; obstetrics care, 12 percent; mental illness and care, 11 percent; and more dentists, 7 percent.
• Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital needs, including a reduction emergency room costs, updated equipment, better services so more care can be delivered locally; lab costs too high; local doctors need privileges.
Respondents were also asked if they were aware of any groups that needed more attention than others. Of those who responded to this question, Brown said, 14 percent said seniors need more attention and 11 percent said the mentally ill need more attention in the county.
Other survey results include (2009 survey results in parentheses):
• 82 percent have a medical provider (82 percent)
• 50 percent have a Quay County dentist (58 percent)
• 12 percent have difficulty with transportation
• 75 percent know where to seek mental health treatment if needed (68 percent)
• 64 percent think hunger is a problem (49 percent)
• 51 percent think homelessness is a problem (38 percent)
• 74 percent would support receipt of medical services through tele-health technology.