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Esk folk not convinced despite hospital pledge

The Esk Hospital antenatal clinic will shut down at the end of November 2012.
The Esk Hospital antenatal clinic will shut down at the end of November 2012. Sarah Harvey

ESK residents remain concerned about their hospital despite an assurance it will remain open.

A public meeting at the Esk Bowls Club was packed on Thursday night.

Concerned residents were joined by West Moreton Hospital and Health Service chief executive Lesley Dwyer, Nanango MP Deb Frecklington and representatives from the Somerset council.

Ms Dwyer promised the crowd the hospital would remain open, citing a $600,000 project to replace the hospital roof.

Despite the assurance, one attendee told the QT she was afraid Esk Hospital would "die a death of a thousand cuts" with services slowly being removed.

One of the meeting organisers, Jan Allan, said residents are calling for the security of their hospital services and increased GPs in the town.

"What we're asking for and what they're saying are two different things," she said.

"Unless it's an emergency you can't see a doctor (at the Esk Hospital).

"They feel it's okay for people to travel to Lowood or further.

"This is ridiculous when people need help."

In a statement to the QT prior to Thursday's meeting Ms Dwyer said while the GP services were a responsibility of the Federal Government the working committee would examine the service.

"However in the interest of the Somerset community West Moreton Hospital and Health Service as part of the working party are investigating securing future GP services for the region," she said.

"West Moreton Health has now commenced discussions with the local general practitioner to further develop the current model of Esk Health Service medical officers working within the current general practitioner practice to further enhance this service."

The QT has been told the waiting list for the sole private GP in Esk is longer than three weeks.

Topics:  esk hospital, west moreton hospital and health service




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