QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has defended plans to reshape Central Queensland's hospital system, but says "it was never our intention" to close Moura Hospital.
Last month, Central Queensland erupted into fierce protests over speculation the government might close Moura and Eidsvold hospitals.
Eventually, the premier guaranteed those hospitals would not close.
However, speaking in Gladstone on Tuesday, Mr Newman left no doubt some changes were needed to make the system more efficient, including at Moura Hospital.
"The former premier (Anna Bligh) said Queensland Health was a lumbering, dysfunctional bureaucracy," Mr Newman said.
"So what did we do? After years of people talking about these things, we wanted to empower local communities.
"This is our philosophy. We hand out power, authority, responsibility and resources to local communities, because we think that is a better way to run a state like Queensland.
"So we set up 17 local hospital and health boards and there is one that covers those hospitals (Moura, and Eidsvold, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services board)."
Mr Newman said it was a myth his government cut funding to Queensland Health.
He said the government provided an increase of 7.8%, or $817million.
"Every hospital board has their share of that (funding).
"We are not going to shut (Moura and Eidsvold hospitals.) That was never the intention. But we do have to challenge how we provide health services to communities.
"(Moura Hospital) needs a proper response capability there, but do they need 30 plus staff when they deal with one patient a day? That's the debate."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.