Galloway MSP Finlay Carson has launched a cross-party petition, calling on the Scottish Government to protect services at the Galloway Community Hospital, following a public meeting.
A large crowd turned out for the public meeting in Stranraer last Saturday amid growing concerns over the removal of services from the Galloway Community Hospital.
The meeting, held on Saturday morning in the Coronation Day Centre in Stranraer, was chaired by Councillor Willie Scobie and attended by local MP Alister Jack and MSPs Finlay Carson, Colin Smyth and Emma Harper.
The downgrading of the Accident & Emergency Unit to a Minor Injuries Unit was at the forefront of the discussion.
This means the nearest A&E unit is at the Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary in Dumfries, 75 miles from Stranraer.
Mr Carson said: “The current situation at the Galloway Community Hospital is totally unacceptable.
“To find ourselves in a position where services are continually being removed or downgraded leaves my constituents in Stranraer and the surrounding area without vital services and feeling vulnerable.
“The only A&E facility in the whole of Dumfries and Galloway is now in Dumfries.
“This means long journeys for people who need to see a doctor urgently.
“I have written to Phil Jones, chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Health Board and Jeff Ace, chief executive of Dumfries and Galloway Health Board, seeking an urgent meeting.
“I am delighted that the politicians and members of the public present at the meeting backed my suggestion of a cross party petition – which you can find on my website and in local shops and businesses as well as in the local press.
“The Scottish Government needs to get a grip of this situation, and fast.
“It’s time for Health Secretary Shona Robison to get down to Stranraer, hear the concerns of residents, and get services re-instated as a matter of urgency.”
The petition will be available to sign online through Carson’s website, in his constituency office on Castle Douglas High Street, or at his Stranraer pop-up surgeries which will be held on July 25 and August10, 15 and 23, at 1st Floor, 34a Charlotte Street.