St Stephen's campaigner says Friendlies talk ‘positive’

ST STEPHEN'S Hospital campaigner Peter Olds is optimistic after a meeting with Uniting Care Health and possible new owners, Friendlies Pharmacy Group, to discuss the facility's future.

Uniting Care Health executive director Richard Royle said the discussions had been engaging and productive and would be ongoing as work continued toward finding an appropriate use for the site.

"We understand that the Maryborough community is keenly interested in a possible future use of this historic hospital site and we will continue to keep the community informed as discussions progress," he said.

Mr Olds also said he felt the meeting showed a lot of promise.

"I think there's light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

"A lot of people have put a lot of work into this.

"It has been a harrowing time for some people who have been dependent on that hospital and still are."

Mr Olds said he felt discussions were leading towards a positive result and the prospect of the site continuing to provide current services was promising.

"It was a good meeting," he said.

Despite the Save St Stephen's petition attracting more than 12,000 signatures, Uniting Care Health confirmed its intention to close the hospital when the new $87.5 million Hervey Bay St Stephen's hospital opened in Hervey Bay next month.