A retired doctor, who had an exhausting experience at Shoalhaven Hospital, says it's "completely unacceptable" Milton Ulladulla Hospital does not have a CT scanner.
On Tuesday, September 10, Dr Paul Duffy was admitted to Milton Ulladulla Hospital with bacterial pneumonia.
On Friday, September 13, he was transferred via patient transport to Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital to exclude a serious life threatening complication.
"They were worried about lung cancer."
Dr Duffy said the scan was quick and easy, but he described the transport ride as uncomfortable and his time in Nowra as exhausting.
He was transported alongside another woman writhing in pain and despite being an in-patient, he was made to sit outside in the waiting area for results.
"Initially I was sat on a chair in the casualty department, but then I was transferred to outside in the waiting area where I sat for in all seven hours," he said.
"By the time I was returned to Milton Hospital, I was more exhausted than what I was before I left. I should add that I am a diabetic and at no time was I offered any food or insulin in the time I was there."
He was eventually given the all clear for lung cancer.
Dr Duffy, who worked as a pediatrician for 50 years in a casualty department, joins the Australian Paramedics Association NSW branch, Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips and community members, who have spoken to the Times about the urgent need for a CT scanner.
"CT scanners have provided an essential source in management and helping urgently sick patients or diagnosing urgent problems," he said.
While waiting at Shoalhaven Hospital he thought it was chaotic. He felt sorry for a junior doctor and noted the nursing staff offered support and care.
But, he also saw six ambulances that couldn't leave due to a bed block.
"I can't help but sympathise with those ill patients traveling to Nowra in those ambulances. Many were in significant pain."
Last week figures released by the Bureau of Health Information show Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital has some of the worst emergency department delays in the state.
The statistics from April to June this year show patients at the Shoalhaven ED have some of the worst wait times for treatment for imminently life-threatening conditions