The Waitaki District mayor says the turnout to a march yesterday shows how concerned people are about proposed cuts to the local hospital.
More than 2000 people joined the protest in Oamaru over proposals by the Southern District Health Board.
Gary Kircher said the board planed to knock back funding by $500,000 over the next year.
But he said Oamaru Hospital was running efficiently.
He said expecting cuts after static funding was not fair, and also a false economy.
Mr Kircher said the DHB would save money if people in Oamaru could get more done there, for example scans, instead of having to travel to Dunedin.