One-third of Australians are less likely to vote for the incumbent Australian government over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and health funding, a poll revealed on Tuesday.
According to the new Essential poll, which was commissioned by peak health body the Australian Medical Association (AMA), 34 per cent of voters said they were less likely to vote for the governing Coalition at the upcoming general election because of its record on health issues, reports Xinhua news agency.
Omar Khorshid, the president of the AMA, said the poll "put the political parties on notice that public hospital funding is resonating as a vote-changer with the Australian electorate".
"The distressing picture we are getting of our hospital funding crisis should be a warning shot to all politicians that they need to pledge they'll fix public hospital funding if elected," he told the Guardian Australia.
The government in October last year rejected a unified call from the health ministers of all eight states and territories to boost hospital funding to help the system cope with the "unrelenting strain" of the pandemic.
The Essential poll found the opposition Labor party leads the Coalition 49-45 on a two-party preferred basis, with 6 per cent of respondents undecided.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has not committed to the AMA's proposed 50-50 funding hospital model between federal and state governments but has promised the party will "always be better" on health than the Coalition.
Australia on Tuesday reported more than 20,000 new Covid cases and 37 deaths -- 14 each in New South Wales and Victoria, five in Queensland, three in South Australia and one in the Northern Territory.