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Future of Gympie Hospital children's ward unclear

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The State Government is being accused of not being transparent over reports the paediatric ward at Gympie Hospital has been shut down.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett has heard services at the local hospital are being reduced, but he says he is struggling to get answers out of the Health Minister and the district health board.

"I get constituents that come to me all the time, including doctors, who are raising concerns."

Despite writing to Yvette D’Ath and asking about shrinking hospital services in Parliament, Mr Perrett says he is yet to get an explanation.

The district health board has agreed to meet with Mr Perrett but hasn't set a date.

"There are a number of concerns I want to raise on behalf of the Gympie region, but it is difficult to do that when they won't actually give me a meeting.

"It appears they don't want to answer questions.

"The government have used the excuse of COVID-19."

When Grant Broadcasters asked the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service if the children's ward has shut down, no clarity was provided.

A spokesperson says there is still outpatient and “targeted bed-based” paediatric care available.

"Children requiring specialist paediatric care are transferred to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.”

But Mr Perrett says that simply isn't good enough.

"We have a growing region, we have extra demand on our healthcare services - we have issues with ambulance ramping.

"We need to make certain our healthcare services are meeting local demand because as people move to the region they want to know they have a first class heath service."

The Health Minister's office has not responded to a request for comment.