A woman whose mother died in a regional NSW hospital without a doctor present says her mother fell victim to an "inadequate and ill-equipped" health system.
"My mother died alone with no family present. She would have been terrified," Hayley Olivares told a parliamentary inquiry investigating rural and regional health on Tuesday.
Mrs Olivares' mother Dawn Trevitt, a 66-year-old Gulgong teacher, was taken to the Gulgong Multi-Purpose Service by ambulance on September 15, 2020.
There was no doctor working there.
Although she was triaged into the most urgent category and should have been seen by a doctor immediately, it took 35 minutes to connect with a doctor on telehealth. She had significantly deteriorated.
There was only one headset to speak to and hear the doctor, leading to confusion over the timing of compressions as nurses tried to resuscitate Ms Trevitt.
She died within an hour.
Other patients in the medical centre were left in the care of a cook while the two nurses on duty assisted her.
Mrs Olivares was critical of a NSW Health review into her mother's death, saying it was not independent and its conclusions were flawed.
The report found that having a doctor present would not have saved Ms Trevitt's life.
"I'm not as convinced," Mrs Olivares said.
"At what point did it become acceptable to have a multi-purpose service open for business with emergency and ambulance signs on the front but with no doctor inside the walls?
"It fills the community with false hope that they will receive appropriate care when they need it, when in fact that could not be further from the truth."
The inquiry sat in Wellington in the state's central west on Tuesday, its fourth day of hearings.
Community leaders, medical staff, activists and residents painted a picture of an understaffed, under-equipped health system.
One woman, Sally Empringham, said she'd decided not to have more children because of a lack of healthcare.
Two friends had delivered children on the side of the road and she'd had to drive two hours to Dubbo for her own pregnancy complications to be checked out, she said.
Another man wept as he told of relatives having to drive hours to see a family member because of a lack of dementia treatment available in Warren.
The deputy mayor of Warrumbungle Shire Council, experienced GP Aniello Iannuzzi, said the four hospitals in his region were going without antibiotics and blood supplies.
"Sadly there are times, and the times are too frequent for my liking, where we run out of basic antibiotics to treat basic conditions," he said.
Doctors had raised the problem of a lack of blood supplies for many years, he said.
One Canowindra nurse told of having to restrain an aggressive emergency patient because of a lack of security staff.
Another nurse from Gilgandra said she'd stopped taking emergency shifts despite having a certification in emergency work because understaffing meant she didn't feel safe.
More than 700 people have made submissions to the inquiry.
It sits in Dubbo on Thursday.
Australian Associated Press