Lies, damned lies and statistics - the old saying made popular by Mark Twain has earned new notoriety in Milton Ulladulla as the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District trots out spurious figures to justify not heeding the community's call for a CT scanner to be installed at the local hospital.
Despite the pre- and post-election pledges by South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and despite Premier Gladys Berejiklian urging it be made a priority, the health district has said with only five scans undertaken in any given week, there isn't the demand.
This flies in the face of information from local paramedics who say they have become a taxi service for patient transport from here up to Nowra - in many cases, conveying patients in need of CT scans.
Perhaps driven by bureaucratic inertia, or a Wollongong-centric approach that wants to concentrate all services close to the city, the health district is using a trusty old statistical trick to justify sitting on its hands.
It's the same approach the Education Department tried to use to avoid acquiring the old Shoalhaven Anglican School site. Shelley Hancock became livid, fronted the minister and got the outcome the district needed.
We hope she does the same with the push for a local CT scanner.
When you hear stories of patients in advanced stages of cancer and in unimaginable pain being forced to travel by ambulance all the way to Nowra for a CT scan and pleading for it to never happen again, you have to wonder if the Wollongong-based bureaucrats understand the word "local".
When well known members of the community stand up and decry the whittling away of services from the local hospital at a time the district's population is growing, you can't help but gasp at how out of touch the "local" health district has become. And you can't help wondering if the model it's based is actually working or whether it's time for an overhaul.
When the Premier herself visits the district and is surprised to hear there is no CT scanner and says it should be a priority but the bureaucrats stand in the way, you have to wonder who is actually in charge.
This community is very adept at raising funds for much needed health infrastructure. And in every instance, that infrastructure is quickly filled to capacity.
It wants to raise funds for a CT scanner but standing in the way is the organisation charged with looking after health services. This makes no sense.