More than 100 people are expected to attend the Save Maitland Hospital rally on Friday.
Organised by the Save Maitland Hospital Action Group, the rally against private funding for the new Lower Hunter hospital at Metford and to show support to keep Maitland Hospital operating as a hospital.
“People should stop being complacent,” rally organiser Shane Anderson said.
“I am sick of people jumping up and down, but when it comes to doing something they are armchair critics.
“If you are so passionate about something, get involved.”
The rally starts at 10am outside the front doors of the hospital and will continue all day.
Mr Anderson said with no budget, community consultation or timeline for the new Lower Hunter hospital, the focus needed to come back to Maitland Hospital.
Mr Anderson launched the action group because he felt a personal need to give back to the medical community after a battle with a rare flesh-eating disease that hospitalised him earlier this year.
“On January 19 I got an ambulance to Maitland Hospital and they had me straight off to specialist care,” he said.
“Six operations later I was sat in hospital thinking, ‘why me?’
“I had the realisation that these people were my Charlie’s Angels and if this was a private hospital I wouldn’t be here.”
More than 600 people have joined the action group’s Facebook page and the rally has grown in momentum with councillors and politicians jumping on board.
“It drives me crazy why they [the government] would consider closing the hospital,” he said.
“Maitland is one of the fastest growing areas, why would they do that?”
But Health Minister Jillian Skinner called the idea of privatisation for the new hospital shameless scaremongering by Labor and the unions.
“I can guarantee public patients will receive public health care free of charge at the new Maitland hospital,” she said.
“No decision has been made about the procurement model for the new Maitland hospital.
“Acute clinical services will transfer from the current Maitland Hospital to the new hospital when it opens.
“Although no decision has been made about future uses of the current Maitland Hospital, there is an option for it to be used for complementary health purposes.”