If Kurri Kurri residents lose their hospital - or some of its services - in the midst of a population boom they say they'll be doomed.
Their concern is being fuelled by rumours that the hospital and its services are under review.
And according to Cessnock MP Clayton Barr they're not just any rumours - they come from "brave and courageous" hospital staff who have spoken out anonymously.
But talk to Hunter New England Health Greater Metropolitan Health Services Executive Director Karen Kelly and she'll tell you the hospital is not closing.
In fact, she told the Advertiser "it has and will continue to play an important part in our network of health services"
What about the services though?
Ms Kelly admitted there had been suggestions some services could transition to the new Maitland Hospital next year, but she said no plans had been made.
"I cam confirm that no decisions have been made about these services," she said.
The community aren't taking any chances. They have launched a campaign to make their feelings known and created an online petition.
They plan to obtain 10,000 signatures - the key to unlock a debate on the issue in NSW Parliament.
Mr Barr has reached out to Health Minister Brad Hazzard and requested a meeting to clarify the hospital's role once the new Maitland Hospital opens at Metford next year.
Cessnock Councillor Anne Sander said Hunter New England Health's chief executive Michael DiRienzo didn't reveal the future plan for the hospital during a briefing at council last year, and that worried her.
"Mr DiRienzo could not confirm or deny that the closure was imminent, but he did say that he was looking at a review of all services at Kurri," Ms Sander said.
"What is this review about? Are they looking at reviewing the services and closing the hospital?
"When the new Maitland Hospital opens what is going to happen to the Kurri Kurri Hospital? Will they close the medical ward, pathology, x-ray? Our population is growing - we are growing ten-fold."
"We need to at least maintain all the current services, but what we really need going forward is to enhance the services at the hospital.
"Did you know it's faster to drive to John Hunter or The Mater than it is to drive to Maitland Hospital?
"It's the population growth we're most worried about. The subdivisions and building applications in the last 20 years have skyrocketed - we have done thousands and thousands. We're looking at possibly getting another 24,000 homes in this Local Government Area (LGA) and if that's the case we need access to a hospital in this area.
"Huntlee on its own has 7000 homes. I see plenty of people coming into our LGA and services are dwindling. It's not just confined to the hospital - it's everything including transport."
"No-one is saying the hospital is going to shut but when you look at all the cuts to the services it looks like it is going to be shut down," Mr Barr said.
"The community at large, myself included, feel like it's death by 1000 cuts - small cuts to different services, different procedures, to options that were historically available. Nobody wants that."
Mr Barr said anonymous information from people within the system had emphasised that the community should be alarmed and concerned.
"We've seen a number of anonymous letters and issues and statements being made available in the public arena. So we've got to get to the bottom of it.
"If there is any plan to shut the hospital then somebody has to stand up and say that is the plan. There will be an almighty fight from the community."