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

Future of 'Esk Hospital' under the microscope

THE future of the Esk Hospital is being reviewed by the West Moreton Hospital Board.

At least 400 signed letters from Esk residents have been gathered calling for the future of their hospital to be assured with residents concerned the hospital is in danger of being closed and services being phased out.

However, Nanango MP Deb Frecklington said she is confident the future of the hospital is safe.

A public meeting regarding the future of the hospital will be held at the Esk Bowls Club tonight.

In a written statement to the QT, West Moreton Hospital and Health Service (WMHHS) chief executive Lesley Dwyer said a working party, including representatives from the Somerset council, Medicare Local and West Moreton Hospital and Health Service, had been formed to "develop a future service model" for Esk Hospital.

However, in the statement Ms Dwyer did not refer to the facility as the "Esk Hospital".

"The development of the future service profile for Esk health services will include a review into what services are currently not being utilised, and what services are required and should be provided," she said.

Esk residents have expressed concern the services at the hospital are being wound down.

Concerned Esk resident Jan Allan said she was concerned for the future of the Esk Hospital.

"I'm afraid it will become a hospital in name only," she said.

"Our town is dying and when everybody has to drive to Gatton or Fernvale to see their doctor, they spend money in those towns and not Esk."

Ms Frecklington told the QT she believed the hospital had an important role to play in Somerset into the future.



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