Calls have been made for the Welsh Government to address specific needs of central Wales in future decisions about the NHS.
A public meeting held in Aberystwyth on Friday, to discuss concerns over the future of Bronglais Hospital, was attended by more than 300 people.
Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, said: “Bronglais is the only General Hospital between the north and south coasts of Wales, serving a huge area. We deserve services as much as urban areas. Over recent months, some services have been lost and question-marks have been raised over the future of community hospitals such as at Cardigan. The Health Service is obviously suffering from funding cuts like all public services.
“At the meeting we heard many stories about the problems people face in accessing services in Ceredigion and the rest of mid-Wales. Healthcare is changing, but people are worried that hospital services are being lost before community services are adequate. We also fear that this area isn’t getting a fair deal from the Government and the Health Board.
“This shows the urgent need for independent research into the future healthcare needs of central Wales which I have called for.”
Elin Jones plans to meet with the Health Minister this week to discuss his plans for this research, and hopes he will appoint a panel with wide-ranging expertise and a remit to look into the challenges faced.
She added: “I intend to do what I can to offer positive solutions which will deliver modern, quality health and social care locally.”