The fight for Lubbock's City Health Department continued Thursday evening as hundreds of citizens turned out for a town hall meeting sponsored by the Health Coalition of Lubbock.
The meeting was held at St. John's Methodist Church, at University and 15th Street.
The Health Coalition of Lubbock is a panel of local medical professionals. The recently formed group says their goal is to educate the public about health issues and learn about public concerns. Those who attended Thursday evening's town hall meeting spoke out overwhelmingly against the possible closure of the Health Department.
"I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a health department," one attendee said.
Another person who spoke before the crowd said she believes the Lubbock City Council is making a poor decision based on limited understanding of the issue.
"Not one of those people has worked in health care or has any inclination - except to support them when they're up for re-election - to get behind this. I really feel I can't trust what they tell us," the attendee said.
Another person who spoke before the group said she believes the decision to close the Health Department hasn't been thought through properly. She believes the decision is based purely on dollars and cents.
"We're not going to get anywhere at all. There may be something else besides budget, but I think money has a big role," the attendee said.
Another person who attended the event said she was concerned what would happen in the future if another hepatitis A scare happened, similar to the events last week.
"Had the city department closed before hepatitis A, what would have been the consequences?" the attendee said.
The Health Coalition are asking citizens to sign a petition in support of keeping the Lubbock Health Department open. They plan to turn the petition over to the City Council. For more information on the Health Coalition of Lubbock and their petition, visit: www.publichealthlubbock.com.