Cutbacks will hurt

MEMBER for Flynn Ken O'Dowd attended a community meeting in Moura on Monday to discuss the Moura Hospital.

"It was decided to come up with a proposal for the town to meet with the CQ hospital board and resolve these issues," Mr O'Dowd said.

"The town came up with a 10-point plan to present the board and hopefully get some common ground.

"We look forward to a meeting in the new year, which we think will be some time in February, with the hospital board and resolve these issues."

Mr O'Dowd believed the issue of the possible closure of Moura Hospital was based on rumours.

"I have not heard the hospital will close but I have heard it will remain open with some cutbacks."

Mr O'Dowd said the review into the hospital came after the Federal Government cut $40million to all 16 Queensland Hospital Boards.

"How this all started was when the Federal Government said Queensland Health will have a $340 million cut over the next four years which has put the board in a very bad position considering they are already half-way through their financial year.

"The excuses from the federal government for the cutbacks is that we are losing population in Queensland which isn't the case.

"To use that as an excuse is ridiculous.

Mr O'Dowd said the news was causing angst in the town for residents who didn't want to lose their hospital. ""Unfortunately at Moura they have had three big mine disasters in the last 30 years and the town sees the hospital as an emergency response to any mining accident or rural incident."

Mr O'Dowd said he didn't think one town should have to "bear the brunt" of the cuts.

Mr O'Dowd said the community needed to wait for the board to come up with options and co-ordinate an approach.

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