Hospital closure shock 'crazy', 'devastating'
NEWS that Gympie's only private hospital would close its doors in February shocked, saddened and concerned many local residents over the weekend.
A difficulty to attract medical, surgical and anaesthetic staff, growing competition amongst other practices and a struggle to build capital investments have been cited as reasons for the planned closure.
Eighty jobs are set to go, 30 of them nurses.
In a press release on Friday, Gympie Regional Council mayor Mick Curran said he was disappointed with the news of another critical service being taken away from the Gympie community.
On the Gympie Times facebook site, more than 105 people shared the story with more than 132 comments.
Many condemned the move.
"That is rather devastating news. There are people losing their jobs and people who prefer the private hospital than the public. Too bad if you have always paid into private health so you had the choice,” said Nancy Evans.
"That is crazy. Terrible for people in the country that get sick and need support. You have to go to Brisbane or somewhere else. This puts pressure on the loved ones visiting with travel as well,” said Candace Grant.
"More and more. Gympie is being regarded as a satellite suburb of the Sunshine Coast, with little regard of the great inconvenience to our residents. When people are sick, they often need family support and that is difficult due to distance and no reliable public transport in and out of Gympie. This is bad news for Gympie,” commented Chris Jasch.
"We have to travel to the coast for serious shopping. We will now have to go to the coast for private hospital. I just wonder how long it will be before we lose our General Hospital and have to travel to the coast for any hospitalisation. If this is progress I have to wonder if the writing isn't on the wall for Gympie with the highway by-pass how long is the town that saved Queensland disappears,” said Jeff Bielby.
"This is so wrong. People in Gympie are treated like second class citizens concerning health care. We should not have to travel so far for treatment, it all should be provided here, it seems as if other hospitals are upgraded but not Gympie. Something needs to be done now,” commented Sue Cutler.
"Just shows it pays to stay public,” said Matt Burge.
Some people said it was difficult to get a GP in Gympie hence why a lot of people travel to the Sunshine Coast.
Others commented that it was time to take the matter up with your representative.
"Time for everyone to contact your local MP and voice your concern I would recommend via email,” said Donna Leigh.