A survey on user satisfaction concerning local public services, commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior and published on Friday, reveals that people care most about the quality and accessibility of roads, specialists medical care, pavement and bicycle roads, and public transport.
The survey mapped the satisfaction levels with the availability and quality of public services offered by local municipalities, as well as by the public and private sectors.
According to the respondents, the situation has improved the most regarding pavements and bicycle roads, roads, Internet, and food and convenience stores, but has changed for the worse in the fields of specialists medical service, roads and bank services. Things like roads are among the top issues in both categories, as the respondents' answers varied in accordance to their location. The deterioration of bank services, for example, was more pronounced in rural municipalities, whereas the problem with roads was more felt in towns.
According to the report, 85 percent of the households with pre-school-aged children are satisfied with the accessibility of kindergartens or creches and 96 percent with the quality of the services these provide. Satisfaction ratings for school education are similarly high, although it is noteworthy that the dissatisfaction with the tuition level grows a little by every stage of education.
The vast majority of the households who use local sports facilities are satisfied with their quality. People are also highly satisfied with the recreational activities offered to the adults and the elderly. Walking and cycling roads too get mostly positive feedback: more than half of the respondents said that they have noticed an improvement in that area in the past three years.
Public transport, on the other hand, is an object of both criticism and praise. Whereas the inhabitants of Tallinn and other larger cities tend to be happy with the services and even find that these have improved over the past few years, the people who live in the rural areas do not share this optimistic opinion. The main complaints are that the buses and trains do not travel frequently enough or run at inconvenient times, travelling takes too much time and the stops are too far from home.
Seven households out of ten are satisfied with fire and rescue service and police and public order in their local areas. Satisfaction level for the medical services, on the other hand, is much lower (45 percent are not satisfied with the accessibility of specialist medical service in their local area).
A similarly split opinions go for roads and streets, only in this field it is the city-dwellers who are more dissatisfied. Yet, 47 percent of people say there has been some improvement in this field.
In general, people tend to be more content with public services than in the past.
The survey was conducted by the social and market research company Saar Poll. It involved 1,518 respondents.
Editor: M. Oll