The lack of general practitioners wanting to get into obstetrics remains one of the reasons why families will have to wait longer for improved maternity services at the Milton Ulladulla Hospital.
Currently, there are no birthing services at Milton and all birthing is at the Nowra based hospital.
Residents attended a meeting on Tuesday, organised by Shoalhaven Local Health District Board at the Ex-Servos Club, to get an update.
The gathering was told of the latest time-frame to get a birthing service back in the area.
It's hoped a low-risk birth centre will be in Milton Ulladulla Hospital in three years as moves to enhance the obstetrics services continues, the meeting was told.
The meeting of stakeholders, including mothers, and health service staff were told the three-year wait comes down to a lack GPs wanting to do obstetrics.
Community representative, Rebecca Cameron, who along with the likes of Sunnee Ord has been working on the issue, said in a perfect world mothers could give birth in Milton.
You can ask why there are no GPs wanting to do obstetrics and I can tell you it's a lifestyle thing, it's a stress thing and it's being on call 24 hours.Dr Henry Murray, Director of Obstetric in the Hunter/New England district
"The fact is, and it's quite simple, and we have been saying this for some time, is we can't have this service without obstetricians and there is a national shortage of obstetricians," she said.
Mrs Cameron said the planning to overcome this shortage needs to start now.
She would support the idea of getting obstetricians, who could slot into the local health system easily, from overseas.
"We probably also need to be looking at incentives for students, medical students and GPs to study obstetrics," she said
"I think the Federal and State Governments need to look at perhaps providing more monetary incentives for people to come into rural and regional areas so we can support these services.
"This will mean our women do not have to drive long distances when in labour to give birth."
Getting the low-risk birth centre in three years, for Mrs Cameron, is not ideal.
"Of course it's not acceptable and Shelley Hancock (State Member for the South Coast) is of the opinion and so am I that we have to have births back at Milton," she said.
Mrs Cameron thought the meeting covered all the points that needed to be covered.
"I think they covered all the facts as to why we are where we are at very well," Mrs Cameron said.
READ MORE: All the background information on the issue
Trying to get GPs to get into obstetrics is something Dr Henry Murray knows all about.
Dr Murray is Director of Obstetric in the Hunter/New England district and has been called to help the Milton area with its maternity issues.
He said high-quality midwives were critically important but sufficient GPs to run a clinic seven days a week was vital.
He said they were looking for GPs all the time to be part of midwifery and obstetrics.
Dr Murray said there just was not enough GPs wanting to be part of midwifery and obstetrics across the board, which is why Milton Hospital is in this current situation.
"You can ask why there are no GPs wanting to do obstetrics and I can tell you it's a lifestyle thing, it's a stress thing and it's being on call 24 hours," he said.
Dr Murray said other areas had similar issues.
"We are consistently on the knife edge of whether we can maintain GP obstetrics or not," she said.
"To not maintain the unit safety is more dangerous than having no unit at all."
Looking at Milton, he said he can't see five GPs coming to the area.
He said they then had to look at the next best environment for birthing and midwifery in Milton.
"We come with a model of midwifery care that can be expanded as we get more and more expertise," he said
Milton has Level One services, which include post and prenatal care, have been available for some time.
However, the hope is to get Level 2 services, which would allow non-complicated, natural births to go ahead at Milton but this plan is now a few years away.