A fruitless wait for medicine in the dark of the night for her husband, who had suffered four towel-drenching nose bleeds, prompted Culcairn's Lois Biti to share her frustration with a NSW parliamentary committee.
The wife of Biti Motors founder Bruno Biti outlined her "disappointment" in a submission to an Upper House inquiry into health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote NSW.
Her husband endured four bleeding noses in one night last year, with the last two prompting visits to the Culcairn hospital, in NSW's south eastern Riverina, which involved a nurse consulting with a doctor via videolink.
"On the second visit, the doctor on the other end of the phone told the nurse to give antibiotics and sedative, and she asked him to complete the paperwork on his end so she could give this medication," Mrs Biti wrote to the politicians.
"After waiting over an hour, and he had not completed his paperwork, we had the choice of driving to Albury and attend a very busy outpatients, (80 year olds driving at 2am and waiting many hours), or just going home and hope for good luck, till we could see our GP the next day.
"We chose to go home."
Fortunately, Mr Biti had the blood stemmed and has had no further nose woes.
However, Mrs Biti told The Border Mail the telehealth system was poor compared to the service provided by now retired doctor Jan Reddy who visited the hospital after hours.
"Why do away with something that's worked wonderfully to put in something that is half-baked, though I understand it's better than nothing," Mrs Biti said.
"The doctor didn't do what he had to do on the other end, that was my beef."
Mrs Biti believes her concerns reflect wider sentiment within Culcairn that the hospital service is not "up to scratch".
Coincidentally, Edward River Council cited the Culcairn hospital receiving $20 to $30 million for an upgrade to serve its population of 1100 as a reason why "upgrades to services at the Deniliquin Hospital must be prioritised".
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mayor Norm Brennan, who co-authored that submission to the committee, suggested to The Border Mail the investment at Culcairn instead of Deniliquin "might be a political decision".
Culcairn lies in the Liberal Party held seat of Albury, while Deniliquin was a Nationals seat until the last state election in 2019 when it was won by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang, a member of the Upper House committee conducting the health inquiry, is concerned it may be politicised.