The future of Brechin Infirmary remains unclear after a meeting about health provision in the town.
Councillor Bob Myles said there was an assurance from NHS Tayside that the infirmary had not closed, although he said he felt there was “no appetite” within the health board for it to reopen.
The GP ward at Brechin Infirmary closed last month due to a shortage of GPs.
NHS Tayside said it was putting its GP resources towards manning Brechin Health Centre and will introduce a new model of care to support people in their homes.
More than 100 people attended the meeting to hear about the changes to health services in the town.
Mr Myles said: “The NHS staff gave a categorical assurance that the infirmary hasn’t closed yet.
“And yes, theoretically, it hasn’t been closed, but will another patient ever be admitted there?
“The chances are probably not.
“Officially, before they close the infirmary they have to go through a consultation process, which they haven’t done yet.
“That will have to happen before they can close it.”
Dr Michelle Watts, NHS Tayside associate medical director, gave an overview of the rationale behind the changes to medical provision in the town.
She said: “It was great to see so many people at the meeting.
“I hope that the audience felt that we were honest about the issues we are facing but were reassured that we are doing our very best to ensure that the community continues to have access to local health services that are safe, reliable and sustainable.
“We hope to introduce the enhanced community support model of care into the Brechin locality, which will help us support people in their own homes and avoid hospital admission where possible.
“This model has been very successful in other parts of Angus, so we are keen to get the benefits of it in Brechin for our patients and their families and carers.
“We would very much like to involve the local community in helping us shape how health services can be delivered in future, so I would encourage anyone interested to get in touch with us at the practice.”
Gail Smith, lead nurse and interim lead officer for Angus, and Eilaine Boulter, advanced nurse practitioner for the north-east locality, answered questions from the audience.
Grahame Lockhart, from the meeting’s organisers Brechin Churches Together, said the meeting was just the first step in ongoing engagement with NHS Tayside.
He added: “The excellent turnout was a clear indication of the community’s concern at the changes taking place, and while there are still significant issues to be addressed, there is hope that we can begin to work together in shaping the delivery of healthcare in the future.”