Yeppoon’s Trish Holland says the closure of the Yeppoon Mater Hospital will be a loss to the community.
Yeppoon’s Trish Holland says the closure of the Yeppoon Mater Hospital will be a loss to the community. Madeline Mcdonald

Yeppoon Mater only had three or four patients at times

THE closure of Yeppoon's Mater Hospital is something Trish Holland didn't want to hear about in the news.

Mercy Health CEO Ian Mill announced this week the private health care facility was officially closing its doors to the members of the public in August after a lengthy decline in the number of admissions to the centre.

The 18-bed facility has operated on the Capricorn Coast for 17 years since opening in 1998.

Trish said the Yeppoon community would miss the option of having a private hospital.

"I think it will be a great loss to the community because it is a facility that has been there for a long time and we are an aging population so we need all the health care support we can get for this area," she said.

"I suppose it's a matter of where you stand financially in terms of what hospital you use regularly. If you have private cover you'd go with the Mater and if not you'd go public but I think people like having that option. I also feel bad for the people who could lose their jobs, some of which I know.

"I think just as long as we don't lose any of the services that were offered there because that wouldn't be a good thing at all if that happened."

Mr Mill told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that closing the doors of the hospital was not an easy decision to make but one that had to be done.

"We've been considering it for a number of years but wanted to keep operating for as long as we could, but with the decline in the number of patients over the last decade it just wasn't financially possible," Mr Mill said.

"In the last 12 months we've had periods where we've only had three to four patients at the time. The building itself won't close as we have long-term tenants who work out of the facility and we want to keep them going but we won't be admitting patients and it won't be open to the public as a hospital.

"The opening of the Yeppoon public hospital and the recent expansions has had an impact on our facility which isn't a bad thing. The new hospital is a great thing for Yeppoon.

"I've been in discussions with Livingstone council and community groups because we still want to maintain a presence in Yeppoon."

Mr Mill said the 35 staff who currently worked at the facility would be supported in finding other employment.

"We care a great deal for our staff and have a number of vacancies across our services in CQ, particularly Rockhampton," he said.

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