Cheap accommodation in Canberra for regional hospital patients and their carers is slated for demolition this year.
The Isolated Patients and Carers Accommodation facility occupies the former nurses quarters on The Canberra Hospital campus and provides subsidised residential quarters for people having to travel long distances - such as from the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla.
However, investment in expansion of TCH will see the land it occupies redeveloped, with interstate visitors only able to use the facility until the end of 2019.
Bill and Nina Vipond of Coolagollite recently returned from a fortnight stint at TCH - staying in the accommodation while Nina underwent hip surgery.
"Just about everyone I spoke to there was from the Bega Valley," Bill said.
"One bloke from Eden said he had been there since January. He doesn't have a car, so he said if this [accommodation service] wasn't here, he couldn't be with his partner.
"Another lady from Batemans Bay said her husband was terminal and she would be 'here until he passes'."
Bill said the accommodation was basic, but came with secure car parking - priceless for those aware of long-term parking costs - was right across the road from the hospital and cost only $43 a night.
"It's basic, but what do you need?
"I could afford a motel in Queanbeyan - it would hurt, but I could do it. But then you need a car, somewhere to park and so on.
"What concerns me is that people having cancer treatment could be there for months. People dying of cancer don't need this crap, to be worried they couldn't have someone there as a carer."
An ACT Health Directorate spokesperson said interstate visitors who live more than 100km from the hospital, will be able to continue using the accommodation until the end of this year.
"Work is currently underway by the ACT Health Directorate and Canberra Health Services (CHS) to develop alternative arrangements to meet the accommodation needs of the families of interstate patients from 2020."
The spokesperson said the reason for the change is due to planning for the construction of the new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre on the Canberra Hospital campus.
"The major health infrastructure project is a $500million investment by the ACT Government that will increase the hospital's capacity to deliver acute and emergency health care to residents of Canberra and the surrounding region.
"The site for the new SPIRE Centre encompasses land currently occupied by buildings 5 and 24 - Building 5 includes the residential accommodation services to which you refer."
The ACT Health Directorate said future arrangement for patients and carers travelling long distances to receive treatment "will be in line with those of other large public hospitals around the country".
"We wish to assure the people of Bega Valley that the ACT government understands the pressures on families who travel to Canberra for care, and the government will ensure that people requiring accommodation will be supported.
"There will be engagement with people who require the service on any new arrangements and this will take place closer to the end of the year."