NHS Highland is facing a backlash over its favoured option to revamp adult NHS and social care in east Caithness.
The blueprint involves the creation of a single hub in Wick based in Pulteney House care home.
It is part of a £30 million blueprint to rejig services in Caithness which has just gone out to a three month public consultation.
Caithness Health Action Team (Chat) is unhappy at moves to centralise medical services in the town and in particular in what would result in the closure of the Town and County Hospital.
It also claims patients will lose out by the move of the town’s medical centre from its established site.
Chat chairman Bill Fernie yesterday questioned the scoring system the health board has deployed to choose its preferred option.
He said: “They put a lot of emphasis on the scoring but a lot of people we speak to take issue with the way they have justified the hub going to Pulteney House.
“We believe that they are desperate to get rid of the Town and County and that is what is driving the agenda.”
Mr Fernie said the health board will face a big fight if the review leaves the Town and County being mothballed.
He added that it is only emerging just how many facilities would be incorporated within the proposed new Pulteney House hub.
This, he said, includes the medical centre, currently sited beside Caithness General Hospital.
He said: “The medical centre is conveniently located near the centre of the town and would not be nearly as accessible were it to be resited at Pulteney House.”
Mr Fernie believed that opposition to the site earmarked for the Wick hub would grow as more information emerged.
He said: “They keep trying to squeeze us into something we don’t want.”
NHS Highland say the public will be given a full chance to have their say before a proposal is firmed up and fully costed before being submitted to the Scottish Government.