Calm down: Springborg

BIG CONCERN: Over 350 people turned out to a meeting at Kianga Hall on Monday to discuss the future of the hospital.
BIG CONCERN: Over 350 people turned out to a meeting at Kianga Hall on Monday to discuss the future of the hospital.

STATE Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg has called for calm in the Moura community as worries persist over the future of its hospital.

Mr Springborg said the Moura community had been misled into over-reacting to the hospital review.

"I understand the hospital board has no intention to close the hospital but there will be a change to how services are delivered," he said.

Mr Springborg said community advocate Jim Pearce and the unions were "ripping up hysteria" and "playing on the fear of a community". He said the community should "wait and see" what the board suggested and then discuss it.

"There has been a significant decrease in patients at Moura Hospital. Health services change and people need to realise what the circumstances are," he said.

Mr Springborg said the future of Moura Hospital would be decided by the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Board.

"They are independent bodies. I won't step in unless a gross failure has occurred."

He accused Mr Pearce and the unions of causing unnecessary concern.

"I want the community to be aware of the abundance of politics going on," Mr Springborg said.

But Mr Pearce said the concerns in Moura were "definitely not" an over-reaction.

"If the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Board were fair dinkum and didn't want the community concerned, they would have responded to the community in a more honest way," he said.

"We have had people round Queensland telling the community the future of the hospital is in discussion.

"But they have not given a response to take fear out of the community. Mr Springborg or the board has not yet given the community a definite 'no, the hospital won't close'."

He said 350 people on Monday night had unanimously supported the retention of the hospital and a number of services.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller said Mr Springborg must front a public meeting at Moura to explain the planned cuts.

"Once again, the minister is hiding behind the regional health board, trying to give the impression changes to service levels at the hospital are nothing to do with him," Mrs Miller said.

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