Region called to rally

MOURA residents have become increasingly concerned over the future of the town's hospital after the announcement of a federal funding cut.

When the Federal Government announced a $4.8 million cut to Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service this month, fears surfaced on the possibility of Moura Hospital getting the axe.

Residents have voiced their concerns that this funding cut would see vital services disappear or even force the hospital to close.

Now the Moura and District Health Care Committee will hold a meeting at Kianga Hall on Monday at 7.30pm to discuss the matter.

Committee member John Hempseed said it was important to have the meeting before Christmas.

"We want the people in the town to be aware of what is going on and we want to do that before Christmas," Mr Hempseed said.

"This is the best way for people to find out what is happening officially.

"I want the hall to be filled."

Mr Hempseed said attempts to cut back services or even close the hospital were very real threats.

"Anything less than 24/7 won't be our favoured option. If they want to make it a multi-purpose centre or increase facility that would be ideal," he said.

"It is really important with the industry that we have around here.

"We believe, with the mining and the gas and the nitrate plant and everything else, we really need this hospital open 24/7.

"If they wanted to add an aged care facility to it, that would be fine, but respite care is a must to have a hospital here. We have had it for that long we have got to maintain it.

"The fact is that if there is an emergency, you have to go further afield, and all the costs are going to bank up against something else.

"If they say it's not economical to keep the hospital open because we haven't used it, what happens if we get a road train crash and bus crash? What are we going to do then?

"We will have people from all over the place and helicopters can only take a couple of people at a time, so we will need something and I think we definitely need this facility.

"Mining and farming are two of the most dangerous industries and we've got both in the area, so why wouldn't we want the hospital to stay open?

"My own daughter had an anaphylactic reaction a while back. She had to go straight across to the hospital to be treated.

"Luckily she could get there straight away. We have also had aneurysms and three or four suspected heart attacks out at the mine in the last three to four weeks.

"If this hospital isn't opened, where do they go?

"Especially when you are looking at heart attacks, time is the biggest factor."

Mr Hempseed said any decision would affect other medical services offered to the community.

"It has been a constant battle to attract and retain a doctor," he said.

"We have got a doctor and we don't know how close we are to getting a second one, but if you don't have a hospital you've got nothing to put anyone in, whether doctors or patients.

"If we have the hospital here we have some chance of attracting a dentist to the hospital as well.

"We did have one very interested in coming out on at least a monthly basis but now this has happened.

"If there is no hospital, there is no place for him to go because there is no other building in town with that infrastructure.

"It will affect the community as a whole because no one knows when they are going to get sick."

Mr Hempseed said anyone with health issues would be affected.

"The best place to be cared for is at home, but if you can't be cared for at home, the hospital up there is next to everything."

Moura and District Health Care Committee encourages all residents to come to the meeting on Monday.

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