Board heeds outrage as Moura fights to save hospital
THE people of Moura, west of Gladstone, have proven a strong, united front can move mountains.
People power has forced an in-house meeting, planned for today between the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board and Moura Hospital staff, to be postponed until next Thursday.
The Moura community planned to pull out all the stops to prevent the meeting, even planning to block the path to the hospital by linking arms.
It's believed the Moura Hospital is in danger of closing.
A Facebook page post indicates there are still plans in the pipeline to go ahead with a protest.
A letter was sent to hospital staff on Monday afternoon inviting them to meet with health board members so they could be advised of the "future direction of health care" in Moura.
The meeting was going ahead at 10am today on the back deck at Moura Hospital.
CQ Hospital and Health Board chairman Charles Ware said the board now intended to throw its net wider by asking the community to attend the meeting as well.
Mr Ware said the meeting had to be delayed following community feedback.
"It was appropriate that we carefully consider community feedback before briefing staff and meeting with the community," he said.
Long-term Moura resident Jeff Dickson said, in a letter to Premier Campbell Newman, he was gravely concerned for friends who lived at least two hours from Moura Hospital.
"I know many people who have been killed in mining, farming, road accidents," he said. "I have mates whose fathers did not come home from their shift.
"What this possible hospital closure will mean for them is increased isolation from proper medical care."
Fresh word on the grapevine was that Moura Hospital was definitely closing down, Central Queensland Communities advocate Jim Pearce said on Tuesday.
"The idea of the protest was to maintain that we don't want the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board talking to nurses and other staff members about their future until the community understands what is happening," Mr Pearce said.
"We are absolutely outraged by the health board's lack of communication with the public."